Public Law 105-85 (U.S. Code Title 50, Chapter 32, § 1520a) came into effect in 1997. It makes it illegal for the military to test biological and chemical weapons on people, and also makes it illegal to conduct peaceful experiments on people without their informed consent. It reads: That's a bit of a wall of text, so let's break it down: (a) The military can not test chemical or biological things on people (c) Unless they have the informed consent of each individual in advance (d) AND notice has been given to congress (b) AND only if it's for peaceful purposes, defenses against weapons, or for purposes related to riot control Notice I changed the order there. It does not change the meaning at all, I just wanted people to focus on (c) Informed consent required. Meaning they can only do it if they have your informed consent. Nevertheless, you see things like this passed around on Facebook. This is totally backwards. The law very specifically forbids the testing of biological weapons in any circumstances whatsoever. They can't do it even if they get your consent. No only does it forbid the testing of biological and chemical weapons, it also forbids the testing of anything else at all, unless you've given your informed consent. The worst thing that this law allows would be the testing of things like tear gas on you, but only if you specifically agree to let them do it, and congress has been notified of the study. Various sites try to force their own interpretation of this law: http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/...the-informed-consent-of-the-public/#more-1685 Again this is backwards. Firstly it's not for "nearly any purpose", it quite specifically excludes chemical and biological weapons in any circumstance. And while (b) does give exceptions for (a) they have totally ignored that part (c) applies to part (b). Hence informed consent is always required. But they go on to suggest that this is "just a trick" They arrive at this backwards conclusion by basically making up their own definition of "informed consent". They make the rather head-spinningly circular claim that adding a clause requiring consent means you don't actually have to get consent as the subject should know that you are supposed to have consent. But what is the actual definition and usage in law? http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Informed Consent So besides the actual obvious step to giving agreement, you've also got to be told everything about the study. If there are any secrets, then you can't even give consent. Informed consent is not about being told something will be done. It's being told everything about that thing, and then specifically agreeing to it. The legality of informed consent is quite well studied, and nowhere does the backwards and circular usage of "awareness of the law requiring consent being equal to the consent that is required" even make an appearance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informed_consent So even if you have explicitly given your fully informed consent, if the test affects anyone who hasn't, or cannot (like children, or the mentally ill) then it is illegal. And remember this is a law prohibiting testing on human subjects. Even if you gave your fully informed consent, and even if the test did not affect anyone else, then the test STILL has to satisfy all the other laws that govern such things.