Researchers Knew 1940s Experiments To Infect Guatemalans With STDs Were Unethical

The panel formed to investigate research conducted by the United States in the 1040’s that involved purposely infecting Guatemalan prisoners, prostitutes and mental patients with sexually transmitted diseases says the scientists involved in the experiments knew their work was unethical.

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues isn’t set to issue its final report on the Guatemalan medical experiments until next month. But as the Associated Press reports, members of the commission discussed some of their findings at a meeting on Monday, disclosing that the experiments funded by the U.S. government infected 1,300 soldiers, prostitutes, prisoners and mental patients with syphilis.

Only about 700 of those infected received some sort of treatment and 83 people died, though it isn’t clear if the deaths were directly related to the experiments, the panel said. The research did not come up with any useful medical information.

The commission also stated that one woman with an undisclosed terminal illness had been infected with gonorrhea in her eyes.

Lots of people around me talk up the fact that the U.S. leads in medical advancement and treatments – but what does this say about us when we are willing to get there via these means?

I’m disgusted! Completely disgusted!

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