Today finally sees two of the USA’s most prominent women in politics finally apologize for one of the most cruel and despicable experiments ever carried out on man to date. Mind you, it only took the USA seven decades to offer one. The experiment, carried out in the 1940′s, was the barbaric and deliberate act of inoculating prisoners, soldiers and mental patients with the killer disease syphilis, without their knowledge or permission. This was one of the most barbaric and cruel acts of human power ever recorded.
Information on the experiment was discovered by Susan Reverby, a professor of Women’s Studies at Wellesley College. Reverby says the “syphilis inoculation project” was co-sponsored by the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), the National Institutes of Health, the Pan American Health Sanitary Bureau and the Guatemalan government.
The doctor running the program, John C. Cutler (PHS), was also involved in the infamous “Tuskegee” syphilis study in which hundreds of already infected African-American men in Alabama were left untreated for 40 years while doctors observed the effects of the disease. The Guatemala project involved 696 people. It is believed these men were treated with penicillin but it remains unclear if their treatment was adequate.
Syphilis is a terrible painful and life threatening disease , it is caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum, and often doesn’t cause any symptoms in its early stages. If left untreated, it can progress to affect the entire body. Syphilis typically has three stages, and there can be different symptoms in each. This disease was given to these men deliberately.
The USA Today noted (http://content.usatoday.com/communities…) U.S. doctors in 1940s inoculated Guatemalan patients with STDs without their consent. According to the article, this is what Susan wrote in her document concerning the experiments:
“The doctors used prostitutes with the disease to pass it on to the prisoners … and then did direct inoculations made from syphilis bacteria poured into the men’s penises or on forearms and faces that were slightly abraded when the ‘normal exposure’ produced little disease or in a few cases through spinal punctures.”