U.S. government medical researchers intentionally infected hundreds of people in Guatemala, including institutionalized mental patients, with gonorrhea and syphilis without their knowledge or permission more than 60 years ago.
Many of those infected were encouraged to pass the infection onto others as part of the study.
About one third of those who were infected never got adequate treatment.Susan Reverby at Wellesley College found hidden documents about the Guatemala experiments while conducting research research on the Tuskegee experiments.
On Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius offered extensive apologies for actions taken by the U.S. Public Health Service. (MSNBC)
The experiments were carried out beween 1946 and 1948 on nearly 700 male prisoners and female patients in the National Mental Health Hospital and was co-sponsored by the U.S. Public Health Service, the NIH, the Pan-American Health Sanitary Bureau (now the Pan American Health Organization) and the Guatemalan government.
Here's the video:
Horrible all around. The news report says that the Guatemalan government at the time was aware of the experiments. The MSNBC correspondent seems to think that they must have as well because it was a puppet government of the US at the time.
I can't say that I've ever heard that before. Juan José Arévalo was president. He was elected president after street protests forced the US-supported dictator's removal in 1944. While I wouldn't doubt his government's knowledge about the project in some capacity, syphilis experiments on the Guatemalan people does not seem consistent with his vision of "spiritual socialism."
While there is little that the US can do today to make up for the damage it did, I do wonder whether this revelation will make US action on TPS more likely. I do'nt expect anything in the next fews days, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear something before the end of the month.