Obama Calls for Review of Protection for Medical Subjects

A bit of news on US-Guatemalan relations caught our eye, courtesy of the LA Times’ “La Plaza” blog. Yesterday, the blog reported on a directive issued by President Obama to conduct a “comprehensive review of medical research guidelines.” The review is a direct result of October’s revelations on the inhumane and unethical studies conducted by US doctors on Guatemalan prisoners in the 1940′s.

While this news has little to do with the TPS request, at least on the surface, it is an indication of a commitment by President Obama to ethical and humanitarian goals.  It is also a sign that issue of the 1940′s studies has not been swept under the table, and that the administration is working to resolve the diplomatic problems raised by the discovery of those studies.  There has been a lot of pressure on President Colom to use the issue as additional pressure in support of the TPS request, something he has publicly denied to do.  Of course, as the recent WikiLeaks release of diplomatic cables shows us, the public and private faces diplomacy are often worlds apart.


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