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October 1, 2010

Tuskegee experiment remix: Syphilis tests in Guatemala

tuskegee experimentToday's Washington Post story about syphilis testing on Guatemalans during the 1940s recalls another dark chapter in medical history: the Tuskegee experiment, in which some black men were intentionally denied treatment so the disease's impact could be studied.

 

If you missed the startling tale about Guatemala, which was uncovered by a Wellesley College professor, take a minute to read it. Basically, doctors used prostitutes and other means to infect soldiers, prisoners and mental patients with syphilis. The United States apologized today for the incident, which involved the U.S. Public Health Service and the National Institutes of Health.

Then recall that while the Guatemala experiment was conducted from 1946-1948, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study (shown here) lasted for decades and did not end until it was exposed by the media in 1972. What's more, Tuskegee subjects were denied treatment, while the Guatemalans were treated after being infected. If these facts don't shock you, you are unshockable.

Several books on the Tuskegee experiment are available if you want to read more. Among them: "Bad Blood" by James H. Jones, "Medical Apartheid" by Harriet A. Washington, and "Examining Tuskegee" by Susan M. Reverby.

Posted by Dave Rosenthal at 4:45 PM | | Comments (5)
        

Comments

And some people wonder why African-Americans are leary of the U.S. government?

Anyone know "731" troop of Japan? It was a germ war troop of Japan in WW2, Koreans and Chinese were treated as experimental material of 731 troop of Japan. However, main leaders of 731 troop escaped from judgement because they offer the germ war data get from experimenting on human being to US government.

If anyone is interested please rent the movie, MISS EVER'S BOYS. starring Alfrede Woodard and Laurence Fishborne
it is the story of the Tuskegee Experiment.

What do you expect from a nation that drops an atomic bomb made of uranium on unarm civilians in japan. Actions speak louder than words says me.

Johns Hopkins has a long (and more recent) history of human subject research:http://tinyurl.com/Hopkinsexperiments

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About the blogger
Dave Rosenthal came to The Baltimore Sun as a business reporter in 1987 and now is the Maryland Editor. He reads a wide range of books (but never as many as he'd like), usually alternating between non-fiction and fiction. Some all-time favorites: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole; Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery; and anything by Calvin Trillin or John McPhee. He belongs to a book club with a Jewish theme.
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