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U.S. apologizes for 1940s syphilis inoculation experiment in Guatemala

The United States issued an unusual apology Friday to Guatemala for an experiment conducted in the 1940s in which prisoners, mental patients and soldiers were deliberately infected with sexually transmitted diseases, including syphilis and gonorrhea.

Here's the statement issued jointed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

"The sexually transmitted disease inoculation study conducted from 1946-1948 in Guatemala was clearly unethical. 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. We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices. The conduct exhibited during the study does not represent the values of the United States, or our commitment to human dignity and great respect for the people of Guatemala. The study is a sad reminder that adequate human subject safeguards did not exist a half-century ago.


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a statement of apology to Guatamala for an experiment that was conducted in Guatamala in the 1940s. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Today, the regulations that govern U.S.-funded human medical research prohibit these kinds of appalling violations. The United States is unwavering in our commitment to ensure that all human medical studies conducted today meet exacting U.S. and international legal and ethical standards. In the spirit of this commitment to ethical research, we are launching a thorough investigation into the specifics of this case from 1946. In addition, through the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues we are also convening a body of international experts to review and report on the most effective methods to ensure that all human medical research conducted around the globe today meets rigorous ethical standards.

The people of Guatemala are our close friends and neighbors in the Americas. Our countries partner together on a range of issues, and our people are bound together by shared values, commerce, and by the many Guatemalan Americans who enrich our country. As we move forward to better understand this appalling event, we reaffirm the importance of our relationship with Guatemala, and our respect for the Guatemalan people, as well as our commitment to the highest standards of ethics in medical research."

Clinton notified Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom about the experiment in a telephone call, according to Sofia Porres of the Guatemalan embassy in Washington. Porres said the embassy would issue an official statement later today.

"We of course are very upset about this and we think it's a very unfortunate event," Porres said in a telephone interview. "We are going to investigate. We knew they were doing investigations but it's very likely we didn't know these experiments were taking place like this. We're going to do an investigation as well to see if there are any survivors, family etc."

Here's a link to the website of Susan Reverby, a Wellesley College professor, who investigated the experiment.

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins held an 11:15 a.m. briefing to discuss the matter.

By Rob Stein  | October 1, 2010; 12:21 PM ET
 
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Comments

Did the Secretary of State mention that she regretted the involvement of the DEMOCRATIC administration of President Harry Truman in running the reprehensible program? I didn't think she would.

Posted by: DoTheRightThing | October 1, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

is Guatemala not GuatAmala!!

Posted by: RASHOMON1 | October 1, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Not because of our freedom do they hate us, but because of the many examples of meddling in other countries' business.

Posted by: lswonder | October 1, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

It was socialized, universal health care for Guatemalans.

Maybe NOW it's viewed as a "mistake," but how many "mistakes" will be made under Obama's DeathCare?

Progressive Socialist elites like the then president Harry Truman view Guatemalans as drones who can be used for the "greater" good, much like the rest of us who don't have the exclusive, Progressive Socialist elitist health care plan.

I wonder what Nancy Pelosi would say about Harry Truman?...

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi applauded Orange County Democrats for gaining ground in this famously Republican stronghold, then used the podium at the party's annual dinner to assure the overflowing ballroom at the Hilton Irvine that health-care reform would be approved.

The event was dubbed the Harry S Truman Awards Dinner, and Pelosi recalled Truman's presidential hopes for universal health insurance in touting the measure now before Congress."

Posted by: bob59 | October 1, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Not surprised. Democrats(leftists) are closest politically to communism, national socialism, etc. Typical behavior for those that hate individual freedoms and push gov't power and & control over people's lives.

Posted by: illogicbuster | October 1, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey, where are all the America-haters? Usually they're out in full force when it comes to this sort of thing?

It seems they love to bash this country except when it comes to the Alien and Sedition acts of WWI, the Japanese internment or any of the other horrible crimes committed by our government in the 1930s and 1940s. What's really odd is that that is when we committed the WORST crimes against humanity, far and away, that we did last century.

I wonder if there's something about the leadership of the country during that time period that makes the left-wing America-bashers so reluctant to go after our policies during this particular period?

If only there were some sort of pattern I could detect, some sort of similarity between the Wilson and Roosevelt and Truman that could explain the reluctance on the part of usually enthusiastic detractors of our Republic to speak up against THEIR TERRIBLE and INEXCUSABLE CRIMES against human right and their fellow citizens.

Oh well, I guess it will just have to remain a mystery.

Posted by: andrew23boyle | October 1, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the relevant point is that it took a Democratic Administration to admit publicly that a wrong was perpetrated.

Posted by: CntrvilleCitoyen | October 1, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the relevant point is that it took a Democratic Administration to admit publicly that a wrong was perpetrated.

Posted by: CntrvilleCitoyen | October 1, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

A little more history: in 1954 the CIA helped overthrow the elected president which set off a 30 year civil war (during a REPUBLICAN administration for those keeping political score). In an era where Communism was the bogeyman of choice, the US backed the right wingers fighting this horrible menace. In typical format for this mentality, if an enemy wasn't at hand they would find one; and they found the indigenous Mayan population. Over the next 30 years there is a trail of torture and murder against the Mayans. It's a history of genocide that's an eye opener for those of you who can't conceive of the US' meddling in the affairs of other countries as being infallible.

Sadly, this shocks me but doesn't really surprise me.

If this is how we treat our friends, God help our enemies.

Posted by: GaryD3 | October 1, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I like that this is happening. I would ask also, has the US govt ever apologized to African Americans for the Tuskeegee Experiment sponsored by the US Public Health Service? If not, it seems we must make a similar statement regarding that long time unethical study. That travesty has left an understandable and continuing negative legacy of mistrust among some African Americans of our government and of the medical establishment, sometimes having a negative impact on the health-seeking choices of and health outcomes for African Americans from what I understand.

Posted by: JA121 | October 1, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

These reports should always mention NAMES of the officials and medical personnel who authorized and conducted these actions. The failure to assign historical blame protects those who should be disgraced in history.

Posted by: jsjmmurray | October 1, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. The article says they eventually treated the prisoners with penicillin to cure the disease. I wonder if they bothered to treat the women they used to "infect" the prisoners. I'm guessing not. After all, they were only prostitutes. Sad.

Posted by: caebling | October 1, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"Democrats(leftists) are closest politically to communism, national socialism, etc."

You, sir or madam, are an idiot.

Posted by: caebling | October 1, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

One more step to stopping the denial and accepting our past transgressions..

NOW
for the Neocon's to show their courage and
admit their involvement in 9/11

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | October 1, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

andrew23boyle wrote: If only there were some sort of pattern I could detect, some sort of similarity between the Wilson and Roosevelt and Truman that could explain the reluctance on the part of usually enthusiastic detractors of our Republic to speak up against THEIR TERRIBLE and INEXCUSABLE CRIMES against human right and their fellow citizens."
---------------------------------------
Hmm, members of a leftist, socialist, gov't control loving, individual freedom hating political party.

I detect no pattern. LMAO

Posted by: illogicbuster | October 1, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Good now we need to give an apology to Blacks for slavery, to every Native American Tribe for stealing there land, to Cuba for starting the war on 1898, etc., get where I'm going with this. It's in the past let it go, I will not give a apology, I did no wrong against them. AND that's the problem with the current President, he is more worried about how his "Presidential Legacy" will look. When he leaves office he hopes everyone will remember "Obama the Great". If he is so smart let him come up with a way to stop Iran from getting the "Bomb" and stop this BS.

Posted by: southernrican | October 1, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Not surprised. Democrats(leftists) are closest politically to communism, national socialism, etc. Typical behavior for those that hate individual freedoms and push gov't power and & control over people's lives.

Posted by: illogicbuster
===========================
FUNNY..
don't seem to mind when your Definitions
when Republicans
Practice
Corporate Communism
or
Corporate Socialism
with
the big corporations..

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | October 1, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Typical politicians. "Apologizing" for what other government officials did sixty-plus years ago. Good luck getting them to apologize for anything that they themselves have done.

Posted by: AdrianMole | October 1, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

How about apologizing for Vietnam, Agent Orange, the many LIES during the Bush Admin, and the inside work of 9/11. Just for starters...

Posted by: Gooddad | October 1, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

You mental midgets blaming the Democrats for this are , well , mental midgets . America the beautiful is no cleaner than any other country in fact we are among the worst .America the Beautiful ? Not. The torture of the prisoners in Guantanamo and in other countries where we sent so called enemy combatants is beyond belief , and it isn't "just" water boarding , which of course is torture . For all practical purposes the public does not know anything , it's all been done in secret , for decades we have even tortured Americans right here at home , experiments funded by the CIA .You'll never hear the Reich wing apologize for the wrongs we have done , they are all for it , they are the Christian family values party you know , which is the biggest and most outrageous lie of all .

Posted by: Koom | October 1, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

What about Tuskegee?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: pontiacmwc | October 1, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Given that we are capable of so much worse, I expect that the people of Guatemala should be thankfull that we limited our experiements on them to only Syphilis. Which, now that I think a bit more about it, suggests that maybe it was much more that we did, back then, and we for some reason are only now admitting to something less horrific? This is a question. For this little syphilis thing is nothing worse than the actions of the Brits, back in the early 1800s, when it is reported that they intentionally offered Syphilis Infected Blankets, to American Indians, a few hundered years ago, which I presume was intended then to, well, wipe them out. All of them. So in comparison, what we have admitted to doesn't seem that bad. So, what is it that we really did? For I expect that we are capable of so much more. Oh, Sorry.

Posted by: jralger | October 1, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

WHEN WILL WE TALK TUSKEGEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: pontiacmwc | October 1, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats do it again.
They were out of control in the late 1940's and still are.

Posted by: nychap44 | October 1, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

At last we're coming to terms with our dark past-- when will we come to terms with our dark present?

And who were the Mengeles who ran this experiment?

Posted by: alarico | October 1, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

This apology is very refreshing. Too bad the right wing is incapable of apologizing for all the destruction, death, and human misery they’ve caused the world over the years. And just when exactly is Bush going to apologize to the nation for imposing a corporate fascist dictatorship and bankrupting the economy and causing a great depression just to protect the parasitic rich fat cats?

Posted by: vztownes | October 1, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Very well. Readying the apology to Native Americans, will take a little longer apparently...

- Balkingpoints / www

Posted by: RField7 | October 1, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Many young people may not be aware that in the 40's and 50's similar studies were conducted, here in America, for various diseases. Scientist and doctors used for their research, without their consent and knowledge: 1. Black Americans 2. prisoners of all races, 3.the mentally ill of all races, and 4.white and black children in orphanages. Unfortunately, in those days there were few groups, like the ACLU, that protected a person's civil rights, so medical scientists preyed on the voiceless and weakest people in our society, and used them as their Guinea Pigs.

Posted by: fridaolay | October 1, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Leave it up to the idiots to make this a democratic republican issue. Not everything is people. Just shut up will you. Totally agree with fridaolay's comment. The United States has a very black past, we can only hope we learn going forward, but awful things still happen.

And Bob59, how is providing health care to children a deathcare. Some people are too stupid for words.

Posted by: jtsw | October 1, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

GaryD3:

++
Your fact are incredibly wrong. The 30 year revolution in Vietnam was 1945-1975. It wasn't started by an organization (CIA) that didn't exist at that time.

No one in Vietnam was overthrown in 1954. It wasn't until President Kennedy had Diem assassinated in 1963 that any government was 'overthrown' and it was the South Vietnamese government.

The Geneva Conventions in 1954 split Vietnam into two countries at the 17th parallel, not the United States.

Get your facts straight before showing your ignorance.

++

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | October 1, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I suppose the people who blamed Bush for "embarrassing" the murdering terrorists at Abu Ghraib are smaller than the mental midgets that Kooms mentioned above?
Micro brained midgets?

Posted by: nychap44 | October 1, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The US Govt regardless if it is run by Democrats or Republicans is a rogue, evil regime.

Posted by: yog2541 | October 1, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I think the power of an apology and the act of contrition is diminished when politicians preface their statements of apology with "this conduct does not represent the values of [Americans or the U.S. Government]."

Yes, yes it does ... at least at one time in our (barely) history.

Posted by: Russolini | October 1, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Here is another reason why we are hated throughout the world. I guess during that period were were just another Australia.

Posted by: truth1 | October 1, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

When will Secretary Clinton apologize for pushing abortion on the developing world? The IMF and World Bank were actually so callous to demand abortion services before extending funding.

Posted by: cprferry | October 1, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Did the Secretary of State mention that she regretted the involvement of the DEMOCRATIC administration of President Harry Truman in running the reprehensible program? I didn't think she would.

Posted by: DoTheRightThing | October 1, 2010 1
==================================

...........lol.......yeah of course not but if was Herbert Hoover, the POST would have.......

As long as Americans know that the POST is a dirty dishonest liberal/progressive propaganda outlet for the DNC .......we should be ok........

Posted by: allenridge | October 1, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

The United States did the same experiment on African Americans--US citizens--over a 40 yr span. Where's the apology to African Americans they experimented on for 40 damn yrs. !!!!!!!!

"The Tuskegee syphilis experiment[1] (also known as the Tuskegee syphilis study or Public Health Service syphilis study) was a clinical study conducted between 1932 and 1972 in Tuskegee, Alabama, by the U.S. Public Health Service. Investigators recruited 399 impoverished African-American sharecroppers with syphilis for research related to the natural progression of the untreated disease.[1]

The Public Health Service, working with the Tuskegee Institute, began the study in 1932. Nearly 400 poor black men with syphilis from Macon County, Ala., were enrolled in the study. They were never told they had syphilis, nor were they ever treated for it. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the men were told they were being treated for "bad blood," a local term used to describe several illnesses, including syphilis, anemia and fatigue.

For participating in the study, the men were given free medical exams, free meals and free burial insurance.

The 40-year study was controversial for reasons related to ethical standards, primarily because researchers failed to treat patients appropriately after the 1940s validation of penicillin as an effective cure for the disease. Revelation of study failures led to major changes in U.S. law and regulation on the protection of participants in clinical studies. Now studies require informed consent (with exceptions possible for U.S. Federal agencies which can be kept secret by Executive Order[2]), communication of diagnosis, and accurate reporting of test results.[3]

By 1947 penicillin had become the standard treatment for syphilis. Choices might have included treating all syphilitic subjects and closing the study, or splitting off a control group for testing with penicillin. Instead, the Tuskegee scientists continued the study, withholding penicillin and information about it from the patients. In addition, scientists prevented participants from accessing syphilis treatment programs available to others in the area. The study continued, under numerous supervisors, until 1972, when a leak to the press resulted in its termination. Victims included numerous men who died of syphilis, wives who contracted the disease, and children born with congenital syphilis.[4]

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study, cited as "arguably the most infamous biomedical research study in U.S. history,"[5] led to the 1979 Belmont Report and the establishment of the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP).[6] It also led to federal regulation requiring Institutional Review Boards for protection of human subjects in studies involving human subjects. The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) manages this responsibility within the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)."

Posted by: dcnatives | October 1, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Or more directly, Sect. Clinton should apologize for her husband vetoing foreign aid bills, with no replacement funding, that preventing pushing abortion policies on the developing world.
http://www.theinterim.com/1999/jan/20financial.html

Posted by: cprferry | October 1, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

OMG people. I'm saddened that EVERYTHING is party politics now. The only point of the article is that the US committed a grave human rights violation in the 40's and is now apologizing. I think the thing to note is that someone had to bring this to light for the apologie to occur. Has nothing to do with current affairs. It must be terrible to be an ideologist that can't think for yourself. Both parties have committed grave acts while in office and will in the future as history will prove. Your collective time would be better spend finding common ground to move our country forward together, but mutual hatred prevents this and it is a sad comment on the mentality of our country as a whole.

Posted by: brovalight | October 1, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

We're not talking about Tuskegee, because in fact the US government already has apologized for the Tuskegee syphilis study, sought out survivors and immediate family, made reparations, etc. That's why we are so aware of Tuskegee -- because all these corrective actions took place in the past 10-20 years and were widely publicized. It's not enough, but nothing ever will be enough. It is, however, pretty much all that could be done.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 1, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Apologize for pushing abortion on the developing world? Excuse me, but that is idiotic in the extreme. The US has for 3 decades distorted health services provided by foreign organizations for pregnant women and children by forcing them into knots to avoid the tiny possibility that our dollars might go to pay for somebody's abortion.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 1, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

JMJ people. this has NOTHING to do with political parties

pontiacmwc:

the woman who investigated and exposed the experiment SUSAN REVERBY
completed two books on what is referred to as the infamous "Tuskegee" Syphilis study (1932-72), "the longest running non-therapeutic research study in U.S. history that involved the United States Public Health Service and more than 600 African American men in the counties surrounding Tuskegee, Alabama. The men thought they were being "treated," not studied, for what they thought of as "bad blood." The study has become a central metaphor for distrust of the health care system and as the key example of unethical research. She was a member of the Legacy Committee on the Tuskegee Syphilis Study that successfully lobbied President Bill Clinton to offer a public apology to the surviving men and their heirs in l997. Her edited book of articles and primary documents on the study appeared in 2000 (Tuskegee Truths: Rethinking the Tuskegee Syphilis Study). Her new book, Examining Tuskegee: The Infamous Syphilis Study and its Legacy came out in 2009. It won the Arthur Viseltear Prize from the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association in 2010. Please see the following website for more information: http://www.examiningtuskegee.com."

Posted by: suzedotcom | October 1, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I want to point out that syphilis was not known by Native Americans, until the Spanish Conquistadores introduced the disease to the Americas, when they started raping and mating with the natives. Like HIV,it is believed that syphilis was contracted originally by human beings mating with animals, and then transmitting the disease sexually to other humans.

One the reasons the Spanish Conquistadores were able to conquer the Americas without very little resistance, was because the Europeans had weapons, horses, and contagious diseases that native Americans didn't have the ability to fight because, they lacked immunity for them. So, in essence, the Spanish Conquistadores were the first Europeans who used biological weapons against a group of people, for the purpose of dominating and conquering them.

So by the 1940, when research was being conducted in Guatemala, I am sure, a few people had the disease. However, what those doctors were doing, was injecting healthy individuals with the disease, to possibly test a medical cure. Nonetheless, regardless of the reasons, it was totally unethical to conduct research without a person's knowledge or consent. Hillary's apologies to the Guatemalan people, alhough somewhat belated, at least is an indication that this country is beginning to recognize our mistakes.

Posted by: fridaolay | October 1, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

GaryD3:

++
Your fact are incredibly wrong. The 30 year revolution in Vietnam was 1945-1975. It wasn't started by an organization (CIA) that didn't exist at that time.

No one in Vietnam was overthrown in 1954. It wasn't until President Kennedy had Diem assassinated in 1963 that any government was 'overthrown' and it was the South Vietnamese government.

The Geneva Conventions in 1954 split Vietnam into two countries at the 17th parallel, not the United States.

Get your facts straight before showing your ignorance.

++

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | October 1, 2010 1:16 PM


Unless I am wrong, I do believe GaryD3 was writing about the country in question as mentioned in Hillary Clinton's apology - ie Guatemala, not Vietnam.

And should I be correct in my presumption, who will have been 'showing their ignorance'?

Posted by: Boanerges1 | October 1, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"I like that this is happening. I would ask also, has the US govt ever apologized to African Americans for the Tuskeegee Experiment sponsored by the US Public Health Service? "

Yes.

04/09/1997
Binding an Untreated Wound
Washington Post
President Clinton will soon hold a public ceremony to offer an official apology to the few remaining survivors of the Tuskegee experiment and to admit to the government's wrongdoing in not treating nearly 400 poor African American men with syphilis as part of a government study.

05/19/1997
Six Decades Later, an Apology
Washington Post
President Clinton apologized to the eight Tuskegee survivors, their families, and the families of those who have died on Friday, while outlining policies meant to improve health services for minorities. "What was done cannot be undone, but we can end the silence," Clinton told the survivors.

Posted by: Skowronek | October 1, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

And then there were two: first Tuskegee and now Guatemala. What else is hiding in America's closet? Obama, Clinton and Sebelius need to come clean on EVERYTHING, regardless of whether the administration guilty was Republican or Democrat.

Posted by: rjchittamssr | October 1, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

For this little syphilis thing is nothing worse than the actions of the Brits, back in the early 1800s, when it is reported that they intentionally offered Syphilis Infected Blankets, to American Indians, a few hundered years ago, which I presume was intended then to, well, wipe them out. All of them. So in comparison, what we have admitted to doesn't seem that bad. So, what is it that we really did? For I expect that we are capable of so much more. Oh, Sorry. Posted by: jralger

Actually it was small pox and it was TWO blankets, but why mess up a good story with facts.

A by far greater source for spreading the smallpox virus would have been infected blood from mutilated soldier and settler bodies, scalps, clothing, and in some cases cannibalism, which occurred during the Pontiac Rebellion. Every warrior that returned from Fort Pitt to Indian villages up and down the East coast with smallpox infected war trophies carried the smallpox virus with them.

Posted by: asmith1 | October 1, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Obama just LOVES apologizing.

Posted by: pgr88 | October 1, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

How about Gautemala thank us for taking in 2 million illegals from their country and providing them shelter, housing, education, and food stamps - and we'll just call it EVEN?

Posted by: pgr88 | October 1, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Nice, when Democrats weren't too busy putting Japanese American Citizens in Concentration Camps they were infecting 3rd world countries with Diesese.

Nice work Democrats, real nice.

Posted by: robtr | October 1, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

And then there were two: first Tuskegee and now Guatemala.
rjchittamssr

Actually, if you follow the time line, this occurred in Guatemala first.

I wonder if the infected prostitutes who were used to infect the prisoners were treated with penicillin adequately/at all, or if the researchers only treated the men.

Posted by: Skowronek | October 1, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Oops. I wish I could retract my post at 2.22 p.m., because Tuskegee WAS first, then this was carried out in Guatemala later. Sorry. Neither should have occurred, at all.

Posted by: Skowronek | October 1, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Hawaiian Gecko wrote:
------------------------

GaryD3:

++
Your fact are incredibly wrong. The 30 year revolution in Vietnam was 1945-1975. It wasn't started by an organization (CIA) that didn't exist at that time.

No one in Vietnam was overthrown in 1954. It wasn't until President Kennedy had Diem assassinated in 1963 that any government was 'overthrown' and it was the South Vietnamese government.

The Geneva Conventions in 1954 split Vietnam into two countries at the 17th parallel, not the United States.

Get your facts straight before showing your ignorance.

++

------------------------------------

GaryD3 replies: Dear Hawaiian Gecko--before you accuse people of ignorance, maybe you should read my post a little more carefully. Mayans in Vietnam? Where on Earth did Vietnam ever come into this discussion? The article is about Guatemala.

I guess I really must be showing my ignorance assuming people will assume replies are in the context of the article.

Hard to take a response like that seriously.

Posted by: GaryD3 | October 1, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

In other news, President Obama apologized to Great Britain for the many deaths inflicted on British forces during the Revolutionary War. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, visiting Germany on a climate change conference, conveyed the United State's sincere apologies for the untimely death of Adolf Hitler and his mistress, Ms. Eva Braun. "Had this administration been in power then," said Ms. Clinton, "much more effort would have been put forth to find a diplomatic solution to the war, and there would have not been the pressure in Berlin that caused Herr Hitler to take his life."

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | October 1, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

What’s the credible evidence to support the claim from an already discredited comment that “President Kennedy had Diem assassinated”?

Posted by: vztownes | October 1, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

...and you wonder why Mr. Chavez is exhuming the body of Simon Bolivar? Never mind...a specious question!

However, genocide has many parents and few children. When US scientists are collecting blood from Indigenous peoples in the Amazon there are serious reasons for doing so, and some countries have expressed outrage at the genetic rape of their people, and of what use these 'inquiries' have in the marketplace.

Suppose a cure for malaria is found in the genetic makeup of an Amazonian inhabitant? Surely no one expects the gene holder to profit from his inherited fortune, but we can surely expect that synthesization, production, and profits will follow...along with the descent of a whole new horde of blood-suckers upon the Amazon.

There are now, where there used to be one(Ft. Detrick, MD), several bio-hazard level IV facilities in the US in private hands. The research in hazardous and military uses of pathogens has only increased after the NAZI/Mengele episode of WWII. Latin America and Africa are fertile testing grounds for these activities, so the hasty apology from the US can only be seen as a cover for the continuing biological work on defenseless people.

Sorry is nice, Mrs. Clinton, but effective safeguards and disclosure are the means of putting these inglorious acts in the dustbin of history. Perhaps later we will find similar errors to the BP disaster, but in the world of microbes it only takes one mistake(http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/panflu/news/april1905h2n2.html )

Posted by: llocat333 | October 1, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Yup change the subject one day after Obama's failed coup attempt in Equador.

USA's slimey fingers are busy down there.

Posted by: incog99 | October 1, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Obama just LOVES apologizing.

Posted by: pgr88

-------------------------------

With "Americans" like you, we will always have something to apologize for, so now you have a purpose in life

Posted by: tagtron | October 1, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I am a fifty-eight year old white man. I remember being shocked when I saw segregated restaurants, restrooms and water fountains on a family trip though the South as a ten-year old (we were from Minnesota). But this! This is unforgivable! Those responsible should be tracked down and prosecuted- just as we did with Nazi war criminals. I think we should prosecute ANYONE who was involved in these atrocities- not just the those at the top. This is just unbelievable! unbelievably outrageous and unbelievably sad!

Posted by: Arbyuu | October 1, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Obama was definitely right when she said: "For the first time in my adult life I'm proud of America".

Many of those who mocked her words are naive about a great many things. They believe only the "good" stuff and ignore the reality of the "bad" stuff. This story makes you whiners look like raving, stupid lunatics.

Posted by: bcs2k | October 1, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

This is just another tip of a mountain of grievous abuses and shortcomings in the involvement of humans in research.

Vulnerable persons, e.g., the broke, illegal immigrants, are disproportionally represented.

If a trial involves restrictions, e.g., in diet, this may well not be tracked well, so there can be blatant violations.

The bar is set very high for reporting adverse effects.

A solution: Recruit research subjects from among those who will insist on and make an informed consent and will be vigilante about the conduct of trials.: e.g., CEOs, mega-bonus earners on Wall Street, media editors, elected officials, Generals and Admirals.

Posted by: jimb | October 1, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Abuses are not limited to Alabama and Central America in the past. They are floursihing up and down the East Coast (and elsewhere in America) today.
Consider the following from Abigail Zuger's NY Times review of Carl Elliott's book, White Cost. Black Hat:

" ...at the bottom of the pharmaceutical tote m pole are the folks who make it all happen: the people who volunteer to test new chemicals for safety before they are let loose on the general public.

"John le Carré’s book 'The Constant Gardener' touched on some of the issues that arise when big companies pay very poor people to test their drugs. Dr. Elliott didn’t have to head to Africa to report this story, however: the Northeast corridor provided ample material.

"In Philadelphia he found a group of professional 'guinea pigs,' as they call themselves, sequestered in a hospital’s clinical research unit while they were testing a prospective new drug. It was one long pajama party: 'We were just gorging ourselves at 2 a.m. on Cheez Doodles,' one guinea pig told him. Only one problem: Those were contraband doodles. The drug under investigation required stringent dietary restrictions, which the subjects were systematically violating. So much for the science of drug evaluation.

"Some guinea pigs are activists — one has founded an industry magazine, Guinea Pig Zero. Probably more typical, unfortunately, are the subjects who spent time in a drug testing site in Miami, the largest in the country until it was shut down for fire and safety violations. Many of them were illegal immigrants, packed into shabby, overcrowded rooms with minimal supervision.

"'Guinea pigs do not do things in exchange for money so much as they allow things to be done to them,' Dr. Elliott points out. 'There are not many other jobs where this is the case.' Yet for all the job’s built-in vulnerability, there is little monitoring of either the subjects’ health or the data’s validity."

The solution: Recruit as subjects those at the top in income and status, e.g., CEOs, Members of Congress, Generals and Admirals. They will insist on an informed and voluntary consent and adherence to the highest standards of conduct and performance.

Posted by: jimb | October 1, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

“Dr. Francis Collins, director NIH said regulation prohibited “risky and unethical” research today. He also states, “I think the track record in past 20-30 years has been quite remarkable,”

Doctor Collins is not aware of what is going on in human experimentation in the USA and the rest of the world. Below are just 3 samples of experiments carried out in the last 30 year period that Dr. Collins says are quite remarkable.

Article by Mike Adams of Natural News titled “Human medical experimentation in the United States

1988
BBC documentary "Guinea Pig Kids" and BBC News article of the same name, reporter Jamie Doran reveals that children involved in the New York City foster care system were unwitting human subjects in experimental AIDS drug trials from 1988 to, in his belief, present times (Doran'

2001
On its website FDA admits its policy to include healthy children in human experiments. Children who do not have the condition for which the drug is intended" (Goliszek).

2005
In exchange for receiving $2 million from the American Chemical Society, EPA by exposing children from a poor, predominantly black area of Duval County, Fla., to these toxins.

Dr. Paul Blake, N.D.

Ps What makes this even more stupefying is that this took place at the time the Nazi's were doing their medical experiments. Which after the war we hung them for their crimes.

Posted by: 1pau1l | October 2, 2010 3:58 AM | Report abuse

The US put the Nazis on trial at Nuremberg in 1945 for crimes against humanity.Anyone remember Dr Josef Mengele, the "Doctor of Death" at Auschwitz? Among the most prominent of Nazi crimes was the one involving medical experiments on hapless human beings. And within a year of those trials, we were testing syphilis pathogens on hapless Guatemalans and on African-Americans in Tuskegee. Did we consider these test victims to be somehow less human than the rest of humanity? That's exactly what the Nazis thought of the Jews. We are the biggest hypocrites in the world, and should be ashamed of ourselves.

Posted by: alzach01 | October 3, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

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