The Guatemala STD Inoculation Studies image

November 13, 2016
Lectures and Panels
Wasserstein Hall, Classroom 3019, Harvard Law School

In the late 1940s, U.S. and Guatemalan researchers conducted a host of experiments on vulnerable Guatemalan subjects, purposefully exposing them to and infecting them with a number of STDs without their consent.  The experiments were kept hidden for more than half a century, until they were discovered and exposed only recently by historian Susan Reverby.  The U.S. government has since apologized for what happened, but a class action suit brought on behalf of the Guatemalan subjects was dismissed in June and efforts to directly compensate the victims have not been forthcoming. This panel discussion examined the study and explored possible legal and political responses, both domestically and from an international human rights perspective. Panelists included:

  • Susan Reverby, Marion Butler McLean Professor in the History of Ideas, Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, Wellesley College

  • I. Glenn Cohen, Assistant Professor of Law, Faculty Co-Director, Petrie-Flom Center, Harvard Law School

  • Holly Fernandez Lynch, Executive Director, Petrie-Flom Center, Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School

  • Wendy Parmet,  George J. and Kathleen Waters Matthews Distinguished University Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law

  • Fernando Ribeiro Delgado, Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law, Human Rights Program, Harvard Law School

Cosponsored by the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School.

Watch the lecture here


holly fernandez lynch   human subjects research   i. glenn cohen   judicial opinions   research misconduct