Barack Obama orders review of Guatemala STD study

November 27, 2010 Comments Off on Barack Obama orders review of Guatemala STD study

Barack Obama orders review of Guatemala STD study

24 Nov 2010 President Barack Obama has asked a bioethical committee to review federal guidelines for protecting humans during medical testing after a US study revealed that Guatemalans were intentionally infected with sexually transmitted diseases from 1946-1948.

Mr Obama sent a letter to Amy Gutmann, director of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, asking her to convene a panel in January to determine “if federal regulations and international standards adequately guard the health and wellbeing of participants in scientific studies supported by the federal government.”….
The commission should wrap up its work in nine months and then deliver a report to him, he said.

The Guatemalan study, which was never published, came to light this year after Wellesley College professor Susan Reverby stumbled upon archived documents outlining the 1940s experiment led by controversial US public health doctor John Cutler.
Cutler and his fellow researchers enrolled people in Guatemala, including mental patients, for the study, which aimed to find out if penicillin, relatively new in the 1940s, could be used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

Cutler, was also involved in a highly controversial study known as the Tuskegee Experiment in which hundreds of African American men with late-stage syphilis were observed but given no treatment for 40 years, between 1932 and 1972.

Initially, the researchers infected female Guatemalan commercial sex workers with gonorrhoea or syphilis, and then allowed them to have unprotected sex with soldiers or prison inmates.

A total of some 1,500 people took part in the study.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/8158524/Barack-Obama-orders-review-of-Guatemala-STD-study.html

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