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VICTIMS OF U.S. MEDICAL EXPERIMENTATION IN GUATAMALA
DESERVE MORE THAN A BELATED APOLOGY
FACT: Between 1946 until at least 1953, the United States Public Health Service conducted highly invasive medical tests on Guatemalan citizens drawn from penitentiaries, the national orphanage, state run schools and rural communities, the military, a leprosarium, a mental institution, as well as commercial sex workers. These experiments were performed without the subjects’ consent.
FACT: The United States Public Health Service bribed Guatemalan institutions with essential supplies such as epilepsy medication for the mental asylum and malaria medication for the orphanage, to gain their cooperation in using vulnerable Guatemalan populations for medical experimentation.
FACT: The United States Public Health Service performed experimentation that included deliberately infecting subjects with syphilis by scraping samples of infected pus and placing it on genitalia or in eyes, transferring gonorrhea from infected subjects to non-infected subjects, failing to provide treatment for contracted diseases, and various other medical procedures such as drawing blood and lumbar punctures to obtain cerebral fluid.
FACT: The United States Public Health Service conducted similar medical experimentation in the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male” in Tuskegee, Alabama, from 1932-1972. The U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare appointed a panel to review the study, which subsequently condemned the Tuskegee experiments, but provided no compensation for the victims until they filed a class action lawsuit.
FACT: In 2011 the United States Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues confirmed that the members of the US medical team knew they were violating the rights of vulnerable populations in Guatemala, calling it a “reprehensible exploitation of our fellow human beings.” Yet, just as it did with the Tuskegee victims- the US government has failed to provide any compensation to those it harmed. In fact, on January 9,2012, the U.S Department of Justice filed motions asking the court to dismiss the class action claims brought by the Guatemalan victims.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Sign the online petition at www.change.org/petitions/fair-compensation-for-guatemalan-victims-of-us-medical-experimentation
Learn more about the issue – “Like” Fair Compensation for Guatemalan Victims of US Medical Experimentation at www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Fair-Compensation-for-Guatemalan-Victims-of-US-Medical-Experimentation/341735475845006
Contact- Piper Hendricks, counsel for the Guatemalan victims at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information