A presidential panel is nearing the conclusion of a study on research conducted by the United States in the 1940s in which prisoners, prostitutes and mental patients in Guatemala were infected with sexually transmitted diseases. The panel says it’s clear that the scientists who conducted the experiments knew their work was unethical.
The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues isn’t set to issue its final report on the Guatemalan medical experiments until next month. But as the Associated Press reports, members of the commission discussed some of their findings at a meeting on Monday, disclosing that the experiments funded by the U.S. government infected 1,300 soldiers, prostitutes, prisoners and mental patients with syphilis.
Only about 700 of those infected received some sort of treatment and 83 people died, though it isn’t clear if the deaths were directly related to the experiments, the panel said. The research did not come up with any useful medical information.
The commission said that one woman with an undisclosed terminal illness was infected with gonorrhea in her eyes elsewhere, the AP reports. She died six months later.
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