The revelation that men in the US syphilis study of the 1940s died from their participation is a shocking final indictment of those who took part in this research.12 The year old saga of investigation into that spate of offences might be in its concluding stages, but the challenge of maintaining scientific integrity is unending.
In these experiments, Guatemalan prisoners slept with prostitutes infected with syphilis or gonorrhoea at the researchers’ behest. None had given consent. The presidential commission investigating these events also found evidence of similar, disturbing work done in the United States where many of the same researchers as those involved in the Guatemalan study undertook studies in which prison inmates were infected with sexually transmitted infections to investigate possible treatments or prophylaxis. Examples of bad science can be found worldwide. Nazi experiments that took place during the second world war are a chilling example. Unconsenting detainees of