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View Full Version : U.S. to apologize for STD experiments in Guatemala



Autumn
10-01-2010, 04:41 PM
...The fuck??


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.

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.

"The sexually transmitted disease inoculation study conducted from 1946-1948 in Guatemala was clearly unethical," according to the joint statement from Clinton and Sebelius. "Although these events occurred more than 64 years ago, we are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health. We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices."

The apology was directed to Guatemala and to Hispanic residents of the United States, according to officials.

A telebriefing with Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health and Arturo Valenzuela, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Affairs is expected Friday morning.

The episode raises inevitable comparisons to the infamous Tuskegee experiment, the Alabama study where hundreds of African-American men were told they were being treated for syphilis, but in fact were denied treatment. That U.S. government study lasted from 1932 until press reports revealed it in 1972.

The Guatemala experiments, which were conducted between 1946 and 1948, never provided any useful information and the records were hidden.

They were discovered by Susan Reverby, a professor of women's studies at Wellesley College, and was posted on her website.

According to Reverby’s report, the Guatemalan project 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. The experiments involved 696 subjects — male prisoners and female patients in the National Mental Health Hospital.

The researchers were trying to determine whether the antibiotic penicillin could prevent early syphilis infection, not just cure it, Reverby writes. After the subjects were infected with the syphilis bacteria — through visits with prostitutes who had the disease and direct inoculations — Reverby notes that it is unclear whether they were later cured or given proper treatment.

Reverby, who has written extensively about the Tuskegee experiments, found the evidence while conducting further research on the Alabama syphilis study.

Frangipani
10-01-2010, 04:44 PM
color me officially not surprised

secretsekertary
10-01-2010, 05:00 PM
seriously. And what will the U.S. government be apologizing for in 60 years, that they're currently engaging in right now. Gotta give 'em credit, though. It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to ask permission. [/bitter sarcasm]

Lathan
10-01-2010, 05:36 PM
I knew Obama was trying to kill us!

somAiroTevoLI
10-01-2010, 06:31 PM
We do it to our own, no surprise here either.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_experimentation_in_the_United_States

Lágnætti
10-01-2010, 06:50 PM
Ah, all good Nazi stuff right there in that wiki article. In fact, it says some of the defendants at Nuremberg cited one particularly vile experiment, giving malaria to prisoners, in their defence of their own disgusting human vivisection.

I suspect we've only scratched the surface of what our governments have been getting up to in the past with the institutionalized.

ETA: Wasn't Guatamala basically a fiefdom of the Dole Corporation at that time? You know, in line with the old school of the Americas agenda?

Charles
10-01-2010, 08:30 PM
WTF!??

How do you apologize for something like that. A homemade greeting card?

"Deepest Sympathies..."
*open*
"..for giving you, and yours, an STD"

secretsekertary
10-01-2010, 08:37 PM
We do it to our own, no surprise here either.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_experimentation_in_the_United_States

What a whopping, sordid history! Thanks for sharing!

liquid_running
10-01-2010, 08:42 PM
WTF!??

How do you apologize for something like that. A homemade greeting card?

"Deepest Sympathies..."
*open*
"..for giving you, and yours, an STD"

For some reason I imagined that card having a puppy on the front and sparkly writing.

Churumbela
10-01-2010, 08:52 PM
color me officially not surprised

Same here. And yeah, definitely puts one in mind of Tuskegee. I mean, they only stopped that one because people found out and got pissed. Or for another dark moment in the history of biomedical research, there's the lovely case of doctors at the Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital injecting patients with live cancer cells without their knowledge, just to see what would happen. Even better? The study was sponsored by the American Cancer Society. And the principal investigator was elected VP of the American Cancer Society two years later.

Fucking gross.

lacuna
10-02-2010, 04:30 AM
We do it to our own, no surprise here either.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_experimentation_in_the_United_States


In 1956 and 1957, several U.S. Army biological warfare experiments were conducted on the cities of Savannah, Georgia and Avon Park, Florida. In the experiments, Army bio-warfare researchers released millions of mosquitoes on the two towns, in order to see if the insects would spread yellow fever and dengue fever. Hundreds of residents contracted a wide array of illnesses, including fevers, respiratory problems, stillbirths, encephalitis, and typhoid. Army researchers pretended to be public health workers, so that they could photograph and perform medical tests on the victims. Several people died as a result of the experiments.

[jawdrop]!

Girl Friday
10-02-2010, 04:50 AM
We do it to our own, no surprise here either.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_experimentation_in_the_United_States

Oh my gaaaahhhh. My patriotism is soaring.

Lágnætti
10-02-2010, 12:51 PM
For some reason I imagined that card having a puppy on the front and sparkly writing.

I actually think that would suffice. We wouldn't want folks to get greedy now, would we?

Lágnætti
10-02-2010, 12:52 PM
Throughout the 1840s, J. Marion Sims, who is often referred to as "the father of gynecology", performed surgical experiments on enslaved African women, without anesthesia (which was readily available at the time). The women—one of whom was operated on 30 times—regularly died from infections resulting from the experiments. In order to test one of his theories about the causes of trismus in infants, Sims performed experiments where he used a shoemaker's awl to move around the skull bones of the babies of enslaved women.[2][3][4]

How incredibly heartwarming.

Cairn
10-02-2010, 01:23 PM
Count me in as being beyond disgusted, but not at all surprised. I honestly do not understand how we can do this shit to each other.

Frangipani
10-02-2010, 03:25 PM
Doesnt say much for our ability to keep psychopaths institutionalized.