3029.1 The U.S. STD Inoculation Studies in Guatemala: The View from the Government to the Archives, to the Media, to Policy Changes?

Monday, October 31, 2011: 8:30 AM
Between 1946-48 the U.S. Public Health Service created a research study using mental patients, prisoners and soldiers in Guatemala by inoculating the "subjects" with syphilis and other STDs. The study was never published. When historian Susan M. Reverby, who found the records then in an archive at the University of Pittsburgh, she shared the story with former CDC director David Sencer before publication of her article. The result was an apology from the Secretaries of State and DHSS, a phone call from President Obama to President Colom of Guatemala, and an inquiry by the President's Commission on Bio-ethical Issues, as well as world-wide media coverage. This session will focus on what Reverby found, why the coverage has been so extensive, and how the Commission has responded to the President's mandate to do further research.
Session Objectives: To explain why the U.S. PHS inoculation syphilis study happened in Guatemala and how we know about it To evaluate what the Presidential Commission on Bio-ethical Issues has reported on it

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Organized by: Epidemiology
Endorsed by: Ethics SPIG, HIV/AIDS, Socialist Caucus

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