Guatemalans deliberately infected with STDs sue Johns Hopkins University for $1bn

Nearly 800 plaintiffs have launched a billion-dollar lawsuit against Johns Hopkins University over its alleged role in the deliberate infection of
hundreds of vulnerable Guatemalans with sexually transmitted diseases, including syphilis and gonorrhoea, during a medical experiment programme in the
1940s and 1950s.


Can you even imagine the unnecessary torture that these people went through? Orphans, prisoners and mental health patients were among those infected.
The lawsuit also alleges that the Rockefeller Foundation helped design, support, encourage and finance the experiments by employing scientists and
physicians involved in the tests.

Baltimore-based attorney for the plaintiffs Paul Bekman told the Guardian that of the 774 claimants, about 60 were direct survivors of the
programme. Many have died as a result of deliberate infection and others had passed on disease to family members and partners.

Included in the lawsuit are graphic descriptions of the methods that were used to infect their subjects. WARNING

– Prostitutes were infected with venereal disease and then provided for sex to subjects for intentional transmission of the disease

– An emulsion containing syphilis or gonorrhea was spread under the foreskin of the penis in male subjects

– The penis of male subjects was scraped and scarified and then coated with the emulsion containing syphilis or gonorrhea

– Children were subjected to blood studies to check for the presence of venereal disease

– Subjects were inoculated by injection of syphilis spirochaetes into the spinal fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord, under the skin, and on
mucous membranes

– A woman from the psychiatric hospital was injected with syphilis, developed skin lesions and wasting, and then had gonorrhoeal pus from a male
subject injected into both of her eyes

A federal lawsuit for damages under the Federal Tort Claims Act failed in 2012 after a judge determined the US government cannot be held liable
for actions outside the United States. Bekman told the Guardian he believed the new lawsuit stood a greater chance of success as it was lodged in the
state court of Maryland and against private entities.

Both Johns Hopkins University and the Rockefeller Foundation have denied having any involvement with the program and the experiments that took place.
I hope this new lawsuit finally has the ability to hold some “entity” accountable. Most are considered dead that were directly involved with the
experiments, but that shouldn’t stop the victims of these disgusting acts from having some form of justice or their suffering reduced.

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