Between 1945 and 1956, American researchers knowingly exposed hundreds of Guatemalan villagers to sexually transmitted diseases without their knowledge. President Obama has formally apologized for the studies, which are now widely considered unethical. However, victims and their families have encountered numerous legal hurdles as they seek compensation. Last week, victims’ lawyers filed a lawsuit suit in Baltimore, seeking more than a billion dollars in compensation from Johns Hopkins University, where some of the original researchers were affiliated. Kojo explores what’s at stake in the case and why plaintiffs are coming forward now.


  • Scott Dance Reporter, Baltimore Sun
  • Paul Bekman Attorney, Salsbury Clements Bekman
  • Gregg Bloche Professor of Law at Georgetown University

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