64 years ago, under the guise of leading to improved public health by discovering more about the possible effectiveness of the recently-discovered penicillin. See BBC News report. The doctors/researchers/evildoers/criminals who perpetrated this atrocity chose Guatemala because this aspect of their 'research' would not have been permitted in the United States itself, and because the people they harmed were mentally ill patients and prisoners, i.e. vulnerable groups with little power to resist or object.
This ghastly revelation "was unearthed by Prof Susan Reverby at Wellesley College. She says the Guatemalan government gave permission for the tests." - I wonder if that government regarded those victims of medical negligence as expendable? I wonder whether there was any financial or other gain for the members of that government?
I deplore the fact that although medical ethics figures a lot in medical pronouncements and studies, it does not seem to figure in the most important matter of deliberately (or negligently) harming patients. I suggest that medical students should be taught to hold certain codes of behaviour pre-eminent in their dealings with patients:
First do no harm.
If you do in fact do harm, seek immediately to remedy it or alleviate it.
Tell the truth about what happened.
Understand that harming some people in order for others to benefit from that is unethical and wrong.
Evaluate honestly the outcomes of your actions and the advice you give.