Pres. Obama apologizes to Guatemala for US-led human experiments

Pres. Obama apologizes to Guatemala for US-led human experiments

Seattle : WA : USA | Oct 02, 2010 at 7:01 AM PDT
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Here is another news on the dark side of science.

US President Barack Obama personally apologized Friday to Guatemalan President Álvaro Colom Caballeros for a US-led sex study conducted in the 1940s where hundreds of people were deliberately infected with sexually-transmitted infections (STIs).

In a phone conversation with Colom, Obama expressed his deep regret for the experiment conducted by US public health researchers in Guatemala between 1946 and 1948.

Colom denounced the study as "crime against humanity", and said he had learned of the gruesome years-long experiment in the phone call from Hillary Clinton.

It was reported that there was no evidence that the human subjects gave informed consent, and that they were not informed that they have gonorrhea or syphilis, which could have been easily treated with available medicines. They were also deceived with what is going on in them.

The study which was never published came in to discovery this year after a professor in Wellesley College stumbled on archived documents outlining the 1940s experiment led by US public health doctor John Cutler.

The researchers enrolled people in Guatemala, including mental patients, for the study, which aimed to find out if penicillin, relatively new the time, could be used to prevent STIs.

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 only and given no remedial treatment for 40 years, between 1932 and 1972.

Gino C. Matibag is based in Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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