We're Sorry All Right

[Trigger warning for dehumanization, exploitation, indifference to consent, medical malfeasance, classism, disablism, and racism.]

Today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius apologized for experiments undertaken by US government medical researchers in Guatemala 60 years ago, and sanctioned by the Guatemalan government, in which hundreds of male prisoners and female patients in the National Mental Health Hospital were intentionally infected with gonorrhea and syphilis, without their consent or knowledge.
"The sexually transmitted disease inoculation study conducted from 1946-1948 in Guatemala was clearly unethical," [says] the joint statement from Clinton and Sebelius. "Although these events occurred more than 64 years ago, we are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health. We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices."

The apology was directed to Guatemala and to Hispanic residents of the United States, according to officials.
The Guatemala experiment was begun in 1946, fourteen years after the Tuskegee experiment began, but ended after only two years. It "never provided any useful information and the records were hidden," but were unearthed by Wellesley women's studies professor Susan Reverby, who "notes that it is unclear whether [the subjects of the study] were later cured or given proper treatment."

I wonder what secret horrors going on now President Malia Obama and Vice President William Jefferson Mezvinsky will be apologizing for in fifty years.

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