August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Sterilization of Native women and lack of informed consent in medical experiments in boarding schools and IHS hospitals


Phoenix Indian School 1951.

With the coronavirus vaccine experiment underway on the Navajo Nation, Censored News examines informed consent and medical experiments on Native People


The sterilizations of Native women and lack of informed consent were exposed in 1976. Dangerous medical experiments were conducted in boarding schools and Indian Health Service hospitals on O'odham, Apache and Navajo without public knowledge.

By Brenda Norrell

Censored News

The exposure of medical experiments on Native Americans in Indian Health Service hospitals in the 1970s revealed the sterilization of Native women without their consent. Dangerous medical experiments on O'odham (Pima) were conducted, including the injection of radioactive fluid. Whiteriver Apache children were most often used in medical experiments without parental consent. Navajo children in boarding schools were used in medical experiments and a dangerous vaccine trial was halted at Gallup Indian Medical Center.

In a U.S. government document dated Nov. 4, 1976, the United States, under pressure, revealed some of these medical experiments underway in IHS hospitals of the U.S. government. Although it is not a complete list, it documents the sterilization of Native women, the role of drug companies attempting to profit, and the disregard for parental consent of Native children in boarding schools and IHS hospitals.