Minority Health Archive

Intentional Infection of Vulnerable Populations in 1946-1948

Frieden, Thomas R. and Collins, Francis S. (2010) Intentional Infection of Vulnerable Populations in 1946-1948. JAMA, 304 (18). pp. 2063-2064.

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Unethical uses of humans as research subjects represent appalling chapters in the history of medicine. 1 To ensure that effective protections against such abuses continue to evolve and improve, it is essential to continue to learn from historical examples. Sadly, a new example has recently come to light. While conducting research on the Tuskegee study of untreated syphilis, 2 Wellesley College Professor Susan Reverby recently reviewed the archived papers of John Cutler, a US Public Health Service (PHS) medical officer and a Tuskegee investigator. Instead of finding Tuskegee records, however, Reverby found the records of another unethical study. In this study, vulnerable populations in Guatemala—mentally incapacitated patients, prison inmates, sex workers, and soldiers—were intentionally exposed to sexually transmitted infections (syphilis, gonorrhea, and chancroid). The work was directed by Cutler and was done with the knowledge of his superiors, including then Surgeon General Thomas Parran Jr. Funded with a grant from

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Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ethics, medical, Guatemala, history of medicine, human rights abuses, infection, research subjects, sexually transmitted diseases, John Cutler
Subjects: Health > Health Equity > Bioethics
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Depositing User: Users 141 not found.
Date Deposited: 19 May 2011 14:06
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2012 22:01
Link to this item (URI): http://health-equity.lib.umd.edu/id/eprint/2470

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