The United States conducted experiments on unsuspecting Guatemalans in the 1940s in order to test the effectiveness of penicillin on STDs. According to the BBC, “some 1,300 prisoners, psychiatric patients and sex workers were deliberately infected with syphilis, gonorrhea” and other diseases.
A commission ordered by President Obama determined that 5,500 Guatemalans were involved in the experiments, which a Guatemalan official compared to medical tests conducted by Nazi Germany on prisoners of war.
According to the BBC report excerpted below, subjects had bacteria injected directly into their eyes and genitals. —PZS
The US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues had said some 5,500 Guatemalans were involved in all the research that took place between 1946 and 1948, with a view to applying the results on US troops stationed around the world.
Of these, some 1,300 prisoners, psychiatric patients and sex workers were deliberately infected with syphilis, gonorrhoea or another sexually transmitted disease, chancroid.
Concentrations of bacteria were injected into the eyes, the central nervous system and male genitals. Mr Mejia says this was behaviour very similar to that of the scientists in Nazi Germany.
A still from Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” in which the main character, a criminal sociopath and undesirable, is subjected to an experimental procedure.