Update at 2:39 p.m. ET: President Barack Obama also plans to call Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom to personally apologize over the disclosure, White House spokesman Robert Gibss says.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today apologized for "abhorrent" and "clearly unethical" medical experiments in the 1940s in which U.S. Public Health Service doctors injected Guatemalan patients with syphilis and gonorrhea without their knowledge to study the effect of venereal disease.
Source: USA Today
Earlier postings: Doctors from the U.S. Public Health Service injected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis and gonorrhea in the 1940s without their knowledge or consent in a study of the effects of venereal disease, NBC news reports.
Information on the experiment was discovered by Susan Reverby, a professor of women's studies at Wellesley College, and can be seen today on her website. Read a synopsis of her findings here and the full report here.
Reverby says the "syphilis inoculation project" was co-sponsored by the PHS, the National Institutes of Health, the Pan American Health Sanitary Bureau and the Guatemalan government.
She says one of the doctors was also involved in the infamous "Tuskegee" syphilis study in which hundreds of already infected African-American men in Alabama were left untreated for 40 years while doctors observed the effects of the disease.
The Guatemala project involved 696 people, including prisoners and mental health patients.