WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
5 Oct 2010 | News

Unethical Medical Experiment in Guatemala Leads to Apology by U.S. Government

An unethical U.S. government-sponsored medical experiment in Guatemala was publicly recognized for the first time last week–more than sixty years after its completion. The 1940's experiments involved U.S. National Institute of Health doctors intentionally infecting men in Guatemala with sexually transmitted diseases. The testing, which focused on investigating the effectiveness of penicillin, led to the deliberate infection of hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis and other STD's. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, who issued an official apology to the victims of the study, their descendants, and the Guatemalan government, referred to the experiments as "abhorrent research practices."


Read the joint statement by Secretary Clinton and Secretary Sebelius here .

To read the text of a briefing with Assistant Secretary of State Arturo Valenzuela, click here.

For New York Times coverage of the story, click here

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