Medical Mavericks

DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL – Mondays from 20 April, 8.30pm

Theory and hypothesis can only take you so far – in the end you have to experiment on people. But who would be mad enough to go first? For the first time, this series exposes the curious, dangerous and sometimes fatal ways in which doctors have increased medical knowledge through self-experimentation. In the past 100 years medical knowledge has advanced faster than at any time in history. Much of this progress rests on the bravery of a few pioneering researchers who used themselves as guinea pigs; the unlikely heroes who decided the only ethical thing to do was to perform the first experiments on themselves. Gruesomely compelling with surprising insights, this four part documentary series tells the stories of how self-experimentation has contributed to medicines greatest breakthroughs. Unique archive footage, interviews with experts/self-experimenters and dramatic re-enactments all help to set up the scene. Although largely historical, each story brings us up to the present day with examples of living self-experimenters. Each programme is rich in stories.