UPDATE 03: Miami Herald Superior Reporting (Guatemala may petition international court on this matter).
UPDATE 02: Guatemalan president ‘very angry’ at US tests (BBC short video). Note reference to this probably happening in other countries. We sense a need for–and recommend–a global investigation.
UPDATE 01: Horrific medical tests of past raise concerns for today (Commentary from Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania)
U.S. Government Apologizes for 1940s STD Testing on Guatemalans
The U.S. government apologized Friday for a secret program conducted more than 40 years ago in which prisoners and mental hospital patients in Guatemala were intentionally infected with gonorrhea, syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases.
The “unethical” and “reprehensible” program was discovered after a professor documented how U.S. scientists intentionally infected people in the Central American country with sexually transmitted diseases.
Susan Reverby, a women’s studies professor at Wellesley College, published a paper detailing the joint research program between the U.S. and Guatemalan governments. From 1946-1948, doctors enabled men in prison to be infected with syphilis or gonorrhea by allowing prostitutes carrying the disease to visit them. From there, they studied inoculation techniques. The tests, which also involved mental hospital patients, involved about 1,500 subjects, according to the study.