美国的死亡天使

发自伦敦——当时是1946年,在大西洋这一侧,美国律师团正在纽伦堡以反人类罪起诉纳粹医生——针对这些人对集中营里犯人进行的所谓“研究”。而在大西洋另一侧的危地马拉,美国公共卫生署也在进行一项“实验”,他们故意令囚犯和精神病人感染梅毒,以寻找一种新的药物来替代战士们在刚刚结束的那场大战中使用过的无效药物。

这事听起来似乎过于荒谬。然而,一个由奥巴马总统任命的特别委员会却刚刚证实了危地马拉实验的存在。同时奥巴马也为此向危地马拉人民致歉。但为何要在如此之久后才有上述行动呢?

在危地马拉实验发生63年后的2009年,一位名叫苏珊·里伟尔比的美国历史学家翻查了自1940年以来的医学论文档案。当时她所从事的一项历时20年,关于臭名昭著的美国公共卫生署塔斯基吉实验的研究已近尾声——那场实验对患有晚期梅毒的数百名非洲裔美国男性进行医学观察,却任由其病情恶化却不给予相应的治疗,甚至在盘尼西林出现以后也不予施救。她翻看了托马斯·佩伦的一些论文——此人曾于塔斯基吉实验大肆进行的1936年-1948年担任美国公共卫生署主管——并发现了此前一直不为人知的危地马拉实验。

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