My protagonist is subjected to involuntary experimentation because she has superpowers. I want it to be painful and traumatizing. Every time she is injured, she heals more resilient to harm, and she heals faster every time. And anesthesia interferes. So, yeah, they hurt her.

After certain videos are leaked and go viral, and the world knows, the protagonist is freed, but I need the researchers to get a slap on the wrist, and I want the information they gathered to be used. How could that happen? If through corruption or bribery, what would that look like?

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    $\begingroup$ So like are we talking about Dr Evil and his henchmen with mysterious deep pocketed donors funding the research here or a legit medical research clinic trying to cover itself from lawsuits and regulatory action? In other words is this an above the table organization or did this officially never happen? $\endgroup$ – Adam Coville Jun 3 '19 at 2:30
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to worldbuilding. Please note that we don't develop your plot for you, we help you setting up the rules of your world. You can take the tour and visit the help center to find out more. Moreover, what you are asking sounds like the plot of Ajin-Demi Human $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Jun 3 '19 at 3:15
  • $\begingroup$ Two words: forged consent. $\endgroup$ – Muuski Jun 3 '19 at 18:04
  • $\begingroup$ MKULTRA, Edgewood Arsenal human experiments, operation Top Hat, Project ARTICHOKE and so on and so forth. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Jun 3 '19 at 19:47

If you want them to be charged but not significantly punished, an easy method would be a pardon. So they would be convicted under whatever laws (kidnapping, etc.) but then a president or governor would issue a pardon. This could be the result of corruption. Or it could simply be that the president or governor appreciated the scientific knowledge obtained, however unethically. Consider the possibility of a relative of the executive who needs relevant medical care.

As a general rule, if the crime crosses state lines it is federal (president), otherwise, it would probably be a state crime (governor).

While the data might be unethically obtained, if it were useful, it would be difficult to block it. Corporations might buy the data for further research and then not tell the researchers the data source. This is especially true if the data can be reduced from many things that did not work to a few that did. I.e. there were many trials but few successes. "We want you to check the effects of this chemical" is easier to justify than "Please watch these torture videos and tell us what you learn."

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  • $\begingroup$ For the last paragraph: It will be especially hard to block if the results were previously published in a "sanitised" form that seemed reputable (talking about "volunteers" or "test subjects" instead of "torture victims") and are already in widespread use. This then ties back to the 1st paragraph; if the results have saved many lives / lead to widespread scientific advances then the scientists might be "cautioned" for "allowing their scientific zeal and desire to help humanity as a whole to outweigh the regrettable circumstances of the unfortunate young lady" - but otherwise get off scot-free $\endgroup$ – Chronocidal Jun 3 '19 at 15:16


The video shows underlings performing the experiments. They take the fall for the "unauthorized" experiments whilst the actual masterminds get off with a fine for not watching what was happening in the company.

The lab directors are terribly shocked at what happened and promise extra training and closer supervision in the future.

I suspect this happens in real life a lot more than people think.

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  • $\begingroup$ Every illegitimate operation needs a likely scapegoat to take the fall. They usually "kill themselves in shame" or have an "accident" before the trial. $\endgroup$ – Muuski Jun 3 '19 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ Bathrooms are very slippery...... $\endgroup$ – Thorne Jun 4 '19 at 0:18

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