Posts Tagged ‘US involvement in Guatemala in 1940s’

NY Times article about unethical medical experiment by U.S. in Guatemala in 1940s

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

This front-page story titled “U.S. Infected Guatemalans With Syphilis in ‘40s” ran in the Saturday, October 2, 2010 edition of  The New York Times. The author is Donald G. McNeil Jr. Excerpts from the first few paragraphs read:

“From 1946 to 1948, American public health doctors deliberately infected nearly 700 Guatemalans — prison inmates, mental patients and soldiers — with venereal diseases in what was meant as an effort to test the effectiveness of penicillin.”

“American tax dollars, through the National Institutes of Health, even paid for syphilis-infected prostitutes to sleep with prisoners, since Guatemalan prisons allowed such visits. … If the subjects contracted the disease, they were given antibiotics.”

“’However, whether everyone was then cured is not clear’,” said Susan M. Reverby, the professor at Wellesley College who brought the experiments to light in a research paper that prompted American health officials to investigate.”

On Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius called the experiments “clearly unethical” in an apology to the Guatemalan government and the survivors and descendants of those infected. Clinton phoned Guatemalan President Álvaro Colom on Thursday night to “express her personal outrage, deep regret,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. On Friday, the Chronicle reported, President Obama also called Colom to apologize. President Colom called the experiments a “crime against humanity.”

Read the entire New York Times article by clicking on this link: