Fun with science: a U.S. presidential panel has discovered six decades too late that from 1946-1948, U.S. Public Health Service scientists were trolling the insane asylums, prisons and hospitals of Guatemala looking for brown people to inject with syphilis and gonorrhea, “just to see what would happen.” The report notes that “new information indicates that researchers were unusually unethical, even when placed into the historical context of a different era.” Thanks, presidential panel! U.S. officials now have a copy-paste template for the 2081 report uncovering the actual extent of the hellacious torture methods the CIA was busy trying out “just to see what would happen” on its detainees in various other brown people countries across the world at the beginning of this century.
83 people died out of the roughly 1300 who were infected, out of whom only 700 received any treatment. And, of course, “the research came up with no useful medical information.”
From the AP:
For example, seven women with epilepsy, who were housed at Guatemala’s Asilo de Alienados (Home for the Insane), were injected with syphilis below the back of the skull, a risky procedure. The researchers thought the new infection might somehow help cure epilepsy. The women each got bacterial meningitis, probably as a result of the unsterile injections, but were treated.
Perhaps the most disturbing details involved a female syphilis patient with an undisclosed terminal illness. The researchers, curious to see the impact of an additional infection, infected her with gonorrhea in her eyes and elsewhere. Six months later she died.
Dr Amy Gutmann, head of the commission, described the case as “chillingly egregious”.
Try infecting and torturing some children next time, America. This doesn’t sound like it went far enough. [AP]
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