Minority Health Archive

"Ethically Impossible" STD Research in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948

Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (2011) "Ethically Impossible" STD Research in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948. Other. UNSPECIFIED.

Download (3952Kb) | Preview


    Following the revelation last fall that the PHS supported research on sexually transmitted diseases in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948, President Obama asked the Bioethics Commission to oversee a thorough fact-finding investigation into the studies. Commission staff carefully reviewed more than 125,000 original pages of documents and approximately 550 secondary sources collected from public and private archives around the country. Commission staff also completed a fact finding trip to Guatemala and met with Guatemala’s own internal investigation committee. The PHS research involved intentionally exposing and infecting vulnerable populations to sexually transmitted diseases without the subjects’ consent. “In the Commission’s view, the Guatemala experiments involved unconscionable basic violations of ethics, even as judged against the researchers’ own recognition of the requirements of the medical ethics of the day,” Commission Chair Amy Gutmann, Ph.D., said. “The individuals who approved, conducted, facilitated and funded these experiments are morally culpable to various degrees for these wrongs.” The full report, Ethically Impossible: STD Research in Guatemala from 1946-1953, also includes the Commission’s ethical analysis of the case.

    Export/Citation:EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII (Chicago style) | HTML Citation | OpenURL | Reference Manager
    Social Networking:

    Item Type: Report Document or other Monograph (Other)
    Uncontrolled Keywords: bioethics, Guatemala, syphilis, sexually transmitted diseases
    Subjects: Government Publications
    Health > Health Equity > Bioethics
    Related URLs:
      Depositing User: Users 141 not found.
      Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2011 21:02
      Last Modified: 25 Sep 2011 21:02
      Link to this item (URI): http://health-equity.lib.umd.edu/id/eprint/3278

      Actions (login required)

      View Item

      Document Downloads