A US District Court has dismissed a lawsuit brought against US officials by the Guatemalans, or their heirs, who say they were victims of unethical medical research carried out by American researchers in Guatemala in the 1940s, reports the Nature News Blog. As part of that research, which came to light last fall, US researchers intentionally infected 1,300 prisoners, soldiers, and mental patients in Guatemala with syphilis, gonorrhea, or chancroid. For this, the US government formally apologized to the Guatemalan government. The judge dismissed this case, which was brought against a number of US officials, saying that the US was immune, the Nature News Blog adds. "This court is powerless to provide any redress to the plaintiffs. Their pleas are more appropriately directed to the political branches of our government, who, if they choose, have the ability to grant some modicum of relief to those affected by the Guatemalan study," Judge Reggie Walton said in his decision. The plaintiff's lawyers say that they will appeal the decision.
Jun 21, 2012