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Ethically Impossible: STD Research in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948

Report released by the US Bioethics Committee on the Public Health Service’s supported research on STDs in Guatemala in the 1940’s –

Following the revelation last fall that the PHS supported research on sexually transmitted diseases in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948, President Obama asked the Bioethics Commission to oversee a thorough fact-finding investigation into the studies. Commission staff carefully reviewed more than 125,000 original pages of documents and approximately 550 secondary sources collected from public and private archives around the country. Commission staff also completed a fact finding trip to Guatemala and met with Guatemala’s own internal investigation committee.

The PHS research involved intentionally exposing and infecting vulnerable populations to sexually transmitted diseases without the subjects’ consent. “In the Commission’s view, the Guatemala experiments involved unconscionable basic violations of ethics, even as judged against the researchers’ own recognition of the requirements of the medical ethics of the day,” Commission Chair Amy Gutmann, Ph.D., said. “The individuals who approved, conducted, facilitated and funded these experiments are morally culpable to various degrees for these wrongs.”

The full reportEthically Impossible: STD Research in Guatemala from 1946-1953, also includes the Commission’s ethical analysis of the case.

Read the entire press release here. How do you think this will impact future research on human subjects? Drop your comment below.

ANPRM – Human Subjects Research

On Tuesday, July 26, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) for “Human Subjects Research: Enhancing Protections for Research Subjects and Reducing Burden, Delay and Ambiguity for Investigators.” The notice was published in the Federal Register (76 FR 44512).

The Chronicle reported this week that there would be a one month extension for universities to submit their pleas…

Universities knew they faced a complicated and far-reaching challenge when the federal government announced last month that it planned the first overhaul in three decades of regulations governing research on humans.

That realization was confirmed Wednesday with an announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services that it would accept university pleas for a one-month extension of the period for comments on the plan.

Read the entire article here: http://chronicle.com/article/Complexity-Slows-Drive-to/128852/

Want to know more about Protecting Human Subjects? Visit the AAA website: http://www.aaanet.org/issues/policy-advocacy/Protecting-Human-Subjects.cfm


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