U.S. apologizes for deliberately infecting Guatemalans with syphilis in 1940s

By Sarah Ostman

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama issued apologies to Guatemala this week after it was discovered that U.S. government researchers deliberately infected Guatemalan prisoners, women and mental patients with syphilis in the 1940s.

The research — which was conducted in order to test the effectiveness of the then-groundbreaking drug, penicillin — was discovered by a professor at Massachusett’s Wellesley College who was researching a 1960s research project known as the “Tuskegee study.” In that study, African-American men were deliberately left untreated for syphilis.

Both studies, it turns out, were conducted by Dr. John C. Cutler, who was a physician for the U.S. Public Health Service physician in the 1940s. He went on to teach at the University of Pittsburgh and died in 2003.

Read the New York Times article here.

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