By Angela L. Braden
John Hopkins University is under fire for a controversial research study they conducted 65 years ago that allegedly infected hundreds with various s*xually transmitted diseases.
Almost 800 individuals who participated in the research in the 1940s and 1950s in Guatemala have joined together to sue the university for their role in the controversial research. The $1 billion lawsuit accuses John Hopkins University, who designed, managed, and carried out the research, of deception and maleficence. The subjects of the study said they were unlawfully injected with STDs while participating in the research project.
“They kept a lid on it, making sure that nobody knew about it, and they actively deceived these people. There was no consent obtained for and from anybody,” said Paul Bekman, who serves as one of the attorneys representing the victims and their families.
John Hopkins said they are not at all guilty of these allegations. The institution said that they should not be “held responsible” for the research, even though they oversaw, managed, and executed the study that was conducted on soldiers, women, and orphaned children.
“Doctors who were employers of Johns Hopkins went to NIH and served on NIH study committees in their capacity on behalf of the federal government, but not on behalf of Johns Hopkins,” said Robert Mathias, lead counsel for Johns Hopkins.
In addition, Mathias describes the case as being meritless and beyond the statue of limitations. He believes that the case should be dismissed by the judge, being that there is no proof to suggest that John Hopkins played a role in conducting the research that allegedly infected hundreds with diseases.