Tuskegee in Guatemala: Reblog from H&H

in Life Beyond Medicine by

I stumbled across this blog from The Centre for the Humanities and Health at King’s College London, a Wellcome Trust-funded research centre in the Medical Humanities, which really caught my fancy. I liked several posts, and especially loved this one. habving read Susan Reverby’s draft paper, I must say I was a little shocked with the goings on that have been stated here.

Read the post on the H&H blog to get a brief picture of the issue. What do you think, Guatemala trumps Tuskegee?

Oh what a fall there was my countrymen…

Clinton delivers formal apology for a newly discovered Tuskegee-like study Back in 1997 Bill Clinton delivered a public apology to the victims of the infamous Tuskegee study, where about 400 people infected with syphilis among the black sharecroppers in Alabama had been left deliberately without the existing cure, penicillin, so that doctors could follow the “natural course” of the disease. Together with the public apology delivered by former US president, a large financial aid (about $200,000) was offered to the people … Read More

via Humanities and Health

Skeptic Oslerphile, Scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases. Interests include: Emerging Infections, Public Health, Antimicrobial Resistance, One Health and Zoonoses, Diarrheal Diseases, Medical Education, Medical History, Open Access, Healthcare Social Media and Health2.0. Opinions are my own!


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Doc!

    I grew up in Alabama (home of Tuskegee), so have seen plenty of subtle and overt racism in my years… I use the term “racism” loosely, referring to the point of view holding others as less “valuable” than oneself… Below is my pending comment to H&H:

    “Any situation in which beings are used in this way (secretly infecting, or failing to treat) reveals a mind that regards certain groups of “others” as being of questionable “value”… I think what is worse than either study in itself, is that enough people agreed with this sort of thinking to gather the critical mass needed to bring the studies into existence.

    Ironically, those who developed the study and conducted it must have understood it’s dubious ethics on some level, since they went to the trouble to keep it secret. I wonder… tempted to add it to my to-do list of posts… thank you for sharing this!”

    From a karmic POV (if you don’t mind my interjecting non-medical food for thought), everyone involved in those studies created the causes to (most likely) experience effects (illness, neglect, manipulation) that will be far worse than those experienced by the study subjects… So the spiral of “which is worse?” is likely to continue, and get even worse… Yeah, I may have to post about this on http://allaboutenlightenment.wordpress.com/

    Thanks, friend! Please let me know if you’re interested in doing tag-team posting (medical POV, Buddhist POV) from time to time, you can choose the issues!

  2. Thank you! I mean “tag-teaming” rather loosely… I’m very interested in your posts, and am often fascinated by medical (ethical and physical) issues from a spiritual POV. I admire the way you re-blog and share links and include a wide circle of influence, and I hope to do the same (ambitious for someone who just started blogging a couple weeks ago…). So I’ll just keep an eye on your posts and chime in when I feel the urge, if that suits you… And you are welcome to do the same if you feel so-inclined!

    • Absolutely! It sounds fantastic, actually! I am all for it.

      And no, its not overly ambitious. Its about finding your own voice in the din and bustle of the online world. 🙂

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