Who better than the voiceless for medical experimentation?

In all this we should marvel at the melodramatic ‘outrage at the heinous deed’ of establishment officials – once it is revealed, long after it has been well hidden from public scrutiny.

So if we still forget that Tuskegee thing, here is a quick reminder. Wikipedia fills in some details on the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. And who better for the experiment in the US?

The Tuskegee syphilis experiment (/tʌsˈkiːɡiː/)[1] was an infamous clinical study conducted between 1932 and 1972 by the U.S. Public Health Service to study the natural progression of untreated syphilis in rural African-American men in Alabama. They were told that they were receiving free health care from the U.S. government.[1]

The Public Health Service started working on this study in 1932 during the Great Depression, in collaboration with the Tuskegee Institute, a historically black college in Alabama. Investigators enrolled in the study a total of 600 impoverished sharecroppers from Macon County, Alabama

The Guardian reports on similar criminal behaviour against, yes, the voiceless in Guatemala. News comes of a lawsuit (US$1B) regarding the involvement of Johns Hopkins University in the deliberate infecting of Guatemalans with venereal diseases (VD). An excerpt, and we speak not of Josef Mengele and his own experiments but of the US government and a participating institution of higher education.

More than 750 plaintiffs are suing the Johns Hopkins Hospital System Corp over its role in a series of medical experiments in Guatemala in the 1940s and 1950s during which subjects were deliberately infected with venereal diseases without their consent.

The lawsuit in Baltimore seeks $1bn in damages for individuals, spouses and children of people infected with syphilis, gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases through a US government program from 1945-56.

As the report continues,

The suit says that orphans, children and mental patients were also deliberately infected without their consent, and that treatment was withheld from some subjects.

Revelations of these experiments came to light in 2010. Barack Obama apologized for the research, as did then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton and then-secretary of health and human services Kathleen Sebelius.

Once the deed, well hidden, finally comes to light, then comes the ‘official apology’, which immediately falls flat, as the Independent reports.

Some plaintiffs attempted to sue US government officials in 2011, but the case was thrown out on the basis that the Government could not be held accountable for acts committed in another country.

In a statement, John Hopkins said: “Johns Hopkins did not initiate, pay for, direct or conduct the study in Guatemala. No non-profit university or hospital has ever been held liable for a study conducted by the US Government…”

[bold added for emphasis]

Voiceless? Well, we then add the context of the Guatemalan ‘civil war’ and the resulting genocide, the slaughter and torture inflicted on the indigenous, mainly Mayan, and peasants by US-supported government forces.

The VII Summit of the Americas promises to be an interesting one.


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