Allegations out of Iowa are beyond disturbing

If one were to hear that the federal government was launching an investigation into allegations of human experimentation and other medical treatment concerns, one would be inclined to believe that such a probe involved looking at some totalitarian regime overseas. And one might wonder if this was 1945 or 2020.

So it disturbing and frightening that the investigation in question involves a state-run institution called the Glenwood Resource Center in Glenwood, Iowa. Information released by the state’s Department of Human Services indicates that a recently retired official (Rick Shults) overseeing Iowa’s mental health programs knew two years ago of plans to perform sexual experiments at the facility. Shults reportedly approved a plan by Jerry Rea, the former superintendent at Glenwood, to conduct the tests. Rea was fired in December.

The documents also show increasing concerns by nurses, doctors and other staff members about the sexual arousal experiments. Glenwood is responsible for the care of 250 people with intellectual disabilities. Those who objected to the experiments say the residents are extremely fragile and dependent.

We cannot imagine what those involved were thinking or how they plan to explain themselves in court, if the allegations prove true. They certainly did not seem to have any hesitation about their actions. In fact, they planned to utilize the research at another facility in Iowa and one in Kansas.

If a consenting adult chooses to partake in a sexual experiment, that is their business. If vulnerable people are “utilized” for the same purpose, that is simply not right. And it’s astonishing in this day and age.


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