U.S. Reviews Syphilis Experiment In Guatemala: Researchers Knew It Was Unethical

Tuskeegee_studyAll too often groups of people are unknowingly infected with disease as a means of isolated experimentation. Earlier this week the Commision for the Study of Bioethical Issues reviewed the 1940s incident  where the U.S. government infected Guatemalan prisoners and patients with syphilis. Via Reuters:

U.S. government researchers must have known they were violating ethical standards by deliberately infecting Guatemalan prison inmates and mental patients with syphilis for an experiment in the 1940s, according to a U.S. presidential commission.

The U.S.-funded research in Guatemala did not treat participants as human beings, failing to even inform them they were taking part in research, as was the case for a similar study in the United States, the commission said on Monday.

The United States apologized last year for the experiment, which was meant to test the drug penicillin, after it was uncovered decades later by a college professor.

President Barack Obama’s Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues investigated the syphilis experiment and discussed its key findings in Washington on Monday. A final report is due in December.

[Continues at Reuters]

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  • Jin The Ninja

    Couple hundred years of euro-american imperialism, colonialism and domination. What’s a bout of siph between “friends” ?

  • Anonymous

    Couple hundred years of euro-american imperialism, colonialism and domination. What’s a bout of siph between “friends” ?

  • george

    unethical?

    I’d say criminal!….didn’t the nazi also do experiment of that kind in their concentration camps?

  • george

    unethical?

    I’d say criminal!….didn’t the nazi also do experiment of that kind in their concentration camps?

  • Spiderman

    Guys what you have to remember is that the Guatemalans would have gotten syphilis regardless so we just sped up the process.

  • Spiderman

    Guys what you have to remember is that the Guatemalans would have gotten syphilis regardless so we just sped up the process.

    • Gofuckyourself

      Spiderman you’re such a troll….

  • Gofuckyourself

    Spiderman you’re such a troll….

  • SF2K01

    How shocking! They knew it was unethical? You think? You seriously think anyone sits down, applies for a job that the main description is “willing to inject people with syphilis on purpose without their knowledge and/or consent” sits there and thinks “hmmm that sounds like an extremely ethical experiment I will have no qualms about participating in.”

    Although since there weren’t any ethics boards back then I guess you could say it was simply of questionable ethics.

  • Anonymous

    How shocking! They knew it was unethical? You think? You seriously think anyone sits down, applies for a job that the main description is “willing to inject people with syphilis on purpose without their knowledge and/or consent” sits there and thinks “hmmm that sounds like an extremely ethical experiment I will have no qualms about participating in.”

    Although since there weren’t any ethics boards back then I guess you could say it was simply of questionable ethics.

  • Anonymous

    How shocking! They knew it was unethical? You think? You seriously think anyone sits down, applies for a job that the main description is “willing to inject people with syphilis on purpose without their knowledge and/or consent” sits there and thinks “hmmm that sounds like an extremely ethical experiment I will have no qualms about participating in.”

    Although since there weren’t any ethics boards back then I guess you could say it was simply of questionable ethics.

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