From the 1930s until the 1950s, for over twenty years, hundreds of thousands of Puerto Rican women were sterilized after giving childbirth, without their knowledge or consent.
It was a form of population control, imposed by the US government. The higher the level of sterilization, the greater the amount of federal funds that flowed into the island’s hospitals.
This ghoulish practice became known as “la operación” throughout the island, and there was nothing that low-income Puerto Rican women could do about it.
Within this environment of medical abuse and malpractice, someone like Dr. Cornelius Rhoads could “inject eight patients with cancer” and kill them, with no consequences whatsoever.
Below is a typical “sterilization chamber” of the era…the medical apparatus used to spread a woman’s legs apart in Puerto Rico, then cauterize her fallopian tubes, without her knowledge or consent.