Guatemala Syphilis Experiment

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Guatemala Syphilis Experiment Liliana Delaguila, Student. CSU Dominguez Hills September 15, 2014 In 1946 to 1948 the United States conducted several venereal experiments on human beings. This project was known as the Guatemalan Syphilis Experiment. The experiment was conducted under the administration of the U.S President Truman and Guatemalan President, Juan Jose Arevalo. United States was the main researchers and founders of the experiment using Guatemalan health health ministries and officials to carry out the treatments.The intended purpose of the experiment was to determine the effects of penicillin. The U.S was interested in discovering if penicillin was able to treat or prevent other sexual transmitted diseases (STDs) such as gonorrhea…show more content…
John Charles Cutler as the lead physician, the experiment began with the doctors infecting female commercial sex workers with gonorrhea or syphilis. Once the women were infected they were then paid to have unprotected sex with soldiers and prison inmates. When doctors noticed that the soldiers and prisoner weren’t showing symptoms as expected, decided to take a bit more aggressive approach. Some subjects were directly infected by direct inoculating them with the bacterium. Journeyman Pictures in 2011 created a short documentary regarding survivors and the after effects of the victims of the Guatemalan Syphilis Experiment. One of the survivors within the documentary identified himself as an active soldier during the time of the experiment. He describes his forced militant duty as soldier, and his robbed rights to be used as a lab rat without his consent; “I couldn’t say no. I had to be quiet,” and when asked why he wouldn’t refuse he stated “they would inject me. And after that, I ended up with this [syphilis].” According to the Fact Sheet on the 1946- 1948 Guatemalan Experiment by the US Department of Health and Human Services the procedure of infection proceeded with “skin injection and exposing the foreskin of the penis to infectious material,” all on subjects that weren’t informed of the procedure nor gave authorized…show more content…
In 2010 a formal apology was given by the US Secretary, Hilary Clinton, stating that the Guatemalan Syphilis Experiment was “clearly unethical,” and “although these events occurred more than 64 years ago, we are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health (Mcneil,Donald).” Recently a class lawsuit was created with the surviving victims of the experiment against 9 living officials, and in 2012 the federal court dismissed the case that infected over 1,000 individuals without consent stating that the defendants are "liable under the principles of successor liability for the acts of their predecessor office-holders (Hanson,

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