United States apologised on Friday for an experiment conducted in the 1940s
in which government medical researchers deliberately infected Guatemalan
prison inmates with syphilis.
of State Hillary Clinton and other top officials issued a statement about
the experiment, which echoed the infamous 1960s Tuskegee study in which
black American men were deliberately left untreated for syphilis.
sexually transmitted disease inoculation study conducted from 1946-1948
in Guatemala was clearly unethical," the statement reads.
these events occurred more than 64 years ago, we are outraged that such
reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health.
We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologise to all the individuals
who were affected by such abhorrent research practises."
aimed at testing whether penicillin could prevent syphilis, were discovered
by Susan Reverby, professor of women's studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
1946-48, Dr John C. Cutler, a Public Health Service physician who would
later be part of the Syphilis Study in Alabama in the 1960s and continue
to defend it two decades after it ended in the 1990s, was running a syphilis
inoculation project in Guatemala, co-sponsored by the PHS, the National
Institutes of Health, the Pan American Health Sanitary Bureau (now the Pan
American Health Organisation), and the Guatemalan government," she
was the early days of penicillin and the PHS was deeply interested in whether
penicillin could be used to prevent, not just cure, early syphilis infection,
whether better blood tests for the disease could be established, what dosages
of penicillin actually cured infection, and to understand the process of
reinfection after cures."
inmates were deliberately infected by prostitutes, but were treated with
Collins, director of the US National Institutes of Health, said regulation
prohibited such "risky and unethical" research today.