About Careers MedBlog Contact us

Guatemala Slams US Confession Over Study on Sex Diseases

by VR Sreeraman on October 3, 2010 at 12:24 PM
Font : A-A+

 Guatemala Slams US Confession Over Study on Sex Diseases

Guatemalans on Saturday slammed a US confession that it led a 1940s study in the Central American country in which hundreds of people were deliberately infected with sexually transmitted diseases.

"No matter how much of a superpower it is, the United States cannot do this kind of experimentation," Nery Rodenas, the chief of the human rights office at the archbishop of Guatemala's office, told reporters.

"They used Guatemalans as lab rats. It is important that family members receive some kind of compensation."

Lawmaker Zury Rios also urged compensation for not only the victims, but the nation as a whole.

"It is just not enough to say you are sorry. We need to be compensated as a (sovereign) State, maybe with the funding of a solid sex and reproductive health program," she insisted.

In a phone conversation with President Alvaro Colom on Friday, US President Barack Obama expressed his deep regret for the experiment conducted by US public health researchers in Guatemala between 1946 and 1948, and apologized "to all those affected."

The study, which was never published, came to light this year after Wellesley College professor Susan Reverby stumbled upon archived documents outlining the 1940s experiment led by controversial US public health doctor John Cutler.

Cutler and his fellow researchers enrolled people in Guatemala, including mental patients, for the study, which aimed to find out if penicillin, relatively new in the 1940s, could be used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

"There is no evidence study participants gave informed consent, and in fact... the subjects were often deceived about what was being done to them," Collins told reporters as he outlined the experiment's most flagrant ethics violations.

Cutler, was also involved in a highly controversial study known as the Tuskegee Experiment in which hundreds of African American men with late-stage syphilis were observed but given no treatment for 40 years, between 1932 and 1972.

Initially, the researchers infected female Guatemalan commercial sex workers with gonorrhea or syphilis, and then allowed them to have unprotected sex with soldiers or prison inmates.

A total of some 1,500 people took part in the study. At least one patient died during the experiments, although it is not clear whether the death was from the tests or from an underlying medical problem.

"This news makes me furious," capital resident Cindy Aceituno told Prensa Libre. "This just confirms that the United States and capitalism disregard human rights."

Source: AFP

Recommended Reading

Latest General Health News

More Than 300 People on Texas-Mexico Cruise Ship Fall Sick
Over 300 people had fallen sick with illness caused by Norovirus on a US cruise ship, say authorities.
 No Smoking Day 2023: Ex-smokers in Wakefield Lead the Campaign
Ex-smokers in Wakefield have shared their stories to encourage others to give up cigarettes on No Smoking Day 2023 which falls on 8th March.
New Protein Linked to Neurodegeneration
Total levels of m6A in the nervous system rise with age and that (some) neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by RNA hypermethylation.
How Stress Disrupts Maturation of Brain's Reward Circuits?
New study provides insights into the impact of early-life adversity on brain development and on control of reward behaviors that underlie emotional disorders
 Indonesia Partners With FIND for Diagnostic Testing Access Initiative
Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia signed a formal memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will expand access to essential diagnostics in the country.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Sexual Problem

Consult an Expert


Guatemala Slams US Confession Over Study on Sex Diseases Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests