Johns Hopkins University faces a $1 billion lawsuit, 800 former research subjects and their families blame the institution for its role in government experiments in the 1940s and ’50s in Guatemala that infected hundreds of people with sexually transmitted diseases

Johns Hopkins Media Statement - April 1, 2015-

Johns Hopkins expresses profound sympathy for individuals and families impacted by the deplorable 1940s syphilis study conducted by the U.S. government in Guatemala. This was not a Johns Hopkins study. Johns Hopkins did not initiate, pay for, direct or conduct the study in Guatemala. No nonprofit university or hospital has ever been held liable for a study conducted by the U.S. government.

It has been well established by a Presidential Commission that this unconscionable research was funded and executed by the United States government. The President, U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services have apologized to the Guatemalan government and to all affected.

plaintiffs’ essential claim in this case is that prominent Johns Hopkins faculty members’ participation on a government committee that reviewed funding applications was tantamount to conducting the research itself and that therefore Johns Hopkins should be held liable. Neither assertion is true.

A class action lawsuit seeking to hold federal officials responsible for the Guatemala study has been filed and dismissed. U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton dismissed that action in 2012 and stated that the pleas of victims for relief are more appropriately directed to the political branches of the federal government.

For more than half a century since the time of the Guatemala study, scholars, ethicists and clinicians have worked with government officials to establish rigorous ethical standards for human research. Johns Hopkins welcomes bioethical inquiry into the U.S. government's Guatemala study and its legacy. This lawsuit, however, is an attempt by plaintiffs’ counsel to exploit a historic tragedy for monetary gain. Plaintiffs’ legal claims are not supported by the facts.

We will vigorously defend the lawsuit.

/r/worldnews Thread Link -