Posts Tagged ‘Susan Reverby’

US Apologizes for 1940s STD Study That Infected Guatemalans With Syphilis

Friday, October 1st, 2010

(ABC News) In 1946, American researchers performed an appalling experiment, infecting unwitting Guatemalans with a potentially deadly disease in the name of public health.

In an effort to see if penicillin could prevent or treat syphilis, government scientists went to the impoverished Central American country to deliberately infect nearly 700 men and women — including prisoners, inmates in insane asylums, and even some soldiers — with the potentially fatal sexually transmitted disease.

The researchers used prostitutes to infect the men and hypodermic needles to infect the women.

The experiments, which lasted from 1946 to 1949, were uncovered last year by Susan Reverby, a professor at Wellesley College, as she was researching a book.

When she came across the Guatemala study, her first reaction was, “Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh, my God,” Reverby told ABC News today.

“The evidence is clear that [the subjects] didn’t know. The authorities were told something, but the people didn’t know,” she said.

Full story…

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