Dear Hon. [Representative],
Today, I read an article about Guatemalans who were injured in unethical medical experiments carried out under the auspices of the US government.
I would like it if you could sponsor legislation to provide treatment for those injured and their families. I would also like the US to establish firm ethical rules regarding conducting overseas medical research, such that researchers are bound by rules at least as strict as they are bound by here.
Many Guatemalans were deliberately infected with syphilis and gonorrhea without their knowledge or consent and never received any treatment. They have since unwittingly passed the infection on to their partners and children, who were infected at birth and who have since passed it on to their own children. Few of those effected could afford medical treatment, even if it was available in their region. I would like to see the US provide treatment and compensation, as well as help establish health clinics in remote parts of that country. Failing that, I would like to see the US waive sovereign immunity in this case so that those effected can proceed with a class action lawsuit.
As American pharmaceutical companies are performing more and more research abroad, it’s important that subjects give meaningful informed consent, adequate compensation, and appropriate treatment for injuries during the study. Going overseas cannot be a way to dodge ethical guidelines.
Thank you for your time.