Statement on Signing the Bill Providing for the Relief of the Survivors of Dr. Frank R. Olson.
I AM today signing into law S. 3035, a private bill for the relief of the survivors of Dr. Frank R. Olson.
Dr. Olson was a civilian biochemist employed by the Department of the Army. He died when he jumped from a 10th floor window of a hotel in New York City on November 28, 1953. Approximately 1 week earlier, employees of the CIA had administered LSD to Dr. Olson. The administration of the drug occurred without his prior knowledge and would appear to have been a proximate cause of his death.
Legislation to appropriate $1,250,000 to compensate the wife and three children of Dr. Olson for his death was supported by this administration. However, the Congress approved a measure calling for the payment of a total of $750,000 to these survivors. Should the Congress next year consider further private relief legislation to raise the total amount of compensation to $1.25 million, this administration would support the measure.
The approval of this bill underscores the basic principle that an individual citizen of this Nation should be protected from unreasonable transgressions into his personal activities. There should be no doubt that my administration is opposed to the use of drugs, chemicals, or other substances without the prior knowledge and consent of the individual affected. At the request of the family of Dr. Olson, I take this opportunity to highlight this continuing policy.
Note: As enacted, S. 3035, approved October 12, 1976, is Private Law 94-126.
Gerald R. Ford, Statement on Signing the Bill Providing for the Relief of the Survivors of Dr. Frank R. Olson. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/241842