There is Injustice and Indignity in Medicine.

UPDATED: View the online version of the exhibit at the William P. Didusch Center for Urology History Museum website. Download the PDF brochure (10mb) and the impressive full exhibition panels (246mb!).

I just returned from our annual American Urological Association Conference in Atlanta, an exhilarating event promoting research and academic exchanges in urology. 

The week long conference was attended by nearly twenty thousand participants from around the World. 

I was honored to receive a Presidential Citation Award acknowledging my humanitarian services. Though I am sure there are friends equally, or more, deserving of such an accolade, I selfishly enjoyed the recognition.

My main involvement in the meeting concerned urologic history.

This year, on my behest, the Urologic History Committee agreed to have “Injustice and Inequities in Medicine” as the main theme. 

We had a wonderfully artistic and aesthetic exhibit with multiple large panels depicting the injustice and indignities in medicine chronicled from the pre-Christian era through centuries to the Nazi atrocities and the relatively modern human experimentations conducted by US Public Health Service and other elite institutions.

The exhibit was hailed as our best ever.

The committee also published an anthology titled “Skeletons in the closet – the injustice and indignities in Medicine”.

It contained papers written by international authors detailing the themes in the panels of the exhibit. It was a hot seller.

I also gave my talk on the the syphilitic experiments conducted in Guatemala by the US Public Health Service (PHS):

Syphilitic experiments on Guatemalan citizens – another skeleton in the closets of US Public Health Service

Syphilitic experiments conducted on the prisoners, mental patients and children of Guatemala by US Public Health Service (PHS), constitute a sinister chapter in the history of medicine manifesting gross violation of code of ethics and blatant neglect of autonomy. It is important for mankind to be aware of such reprehensible practice in the name of research, so that similar heinous acts may not be repeated.

Our moral judgement and human decency behooves upon us to remain vigilant in upholding the code of medical ethics so that the disadvantaged and disenfranchised human beings are not deprived of their autonomy even in the interest of science.

Overall it was an enchanting conference evoking many deep personal and emotional feelings.

— Sakti Das, May 2012.