Lawsuit over U.S. Guatemala syphilis experiment dismissed
Judge calls study a 'deeply troubling chapter in our nation's history'
A Washington judge has dismissed a lawsuit against U.S. officials by Guatemalans who had been subjected to sexually transmitted diseases by U.S. researchers in the 1940s.
The suit, on behalf of the victims and their heirs, came after revelations that Guatemalan prisoners, mental patients, soldiers and orphans had been deliberately infected without their consent. The researchers were studying the effects of penicillin.
U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton acknowledged that the study was a "deeply troubling chapter in our nation's history." But he ruled that federal law bars claims against the U.S. based on injuries suffered in a foreign country.
Guatemalan officials said last year that they have found 2,082 people were involved in the experiments to infect subjects with syphilis, gonorrhea or chancroid. U.S. officials put the figure at 1,308 subjects.