http://resource.nlm.nih.gov/101443908 (U.S. National Library of Medicine)

With former U.S Surgeon General Thomas Parran Jr.’s permission, the U.S Department of Health purposefully injected people with syphilis in Guatemala. They also targeted Black men in Tuskegee, AL, telling them they were selected for free medical care, but Parran and the U.S. were actually leaving these men’s syphilis untreated as a part of an experiment without their consent. According to the NY Times, 28 to 100 people died in Tuskegee, and at least 83 people died in Guatemala.

U.S. human experimentation

Between 1946 and 1948, the U.S Department of Health purposely infected over 1,500 people in Guatemala. With permission from the U.S Surgeon General during the time, Dr. Thomas Parran Jr. ,U.S doctors purposely injected inmates, children, hospital and asylum patients, soldiers and other members of the general public without their consent. 

The study officially ended in 1948, but other senology experiments and tests continued throughout the 1950s. Of the 1500 test subjects, only 678 received some form of treatment. In 2010, a spokesman for the CDC called the human experimentation “regrettable” and “nothing like it should ever happen again.”

But, sadly, something just like that did happen again, but this time on U.S citizens. In 1932, 600 African-American men  in Tuskegee, Alabama were selected for what they thought was free medical care, and told they had “bad blood”. Of the men, 399 had syphilis and 201 did not. They received no treatment, even when penicillin had been found to be a very effective medicine for syphilis in 1947, and were instead monitored as their syphilis gave them sores, killed them, or drove some insane. In 1972, the study was officially ended. A lawsuit was issued, and the U.S government settled for $10 million, as well as free medical care to all living participants and their families.

These studies, now declassified, ended well before most of our times. But what we don’t know is what studies are currently occurring, or even if we might be unwilling participants in other government operations.

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