Comm 335

Topics: Utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill Pages: 2 (431 words) Published: December 6, 2012
Tuskegee Research Project

1. What were the ethical implications of the decisions taken at the time of the study?

In reading and doing some research on the subject above I believe that some of the ethical decisions of this case were that there was never an informed consent from the men that this study was conducted on. The participants were not informed of all the known dangers, participants had to agree to an autopsy after their death, in order to have their funeral costs covered, some patients were denied treatment so that scientists could observe the individual dangers and fatal progression of the disease, patients were not given the cure, even though it was easily available. The researchers advertised for participants with the slogan; "Last Chance for Special Free Treatment". This was a misleading advertisement and the participants were NOT given a treatment, instead being recruited for a very risky spinal tap-diagnostic. These participants were used as a form of a lab rat. They were unable to make rational decision because they were never provided all of the required information. The scientist who conducted this study was totally out of line. They choose to make decisions concerning others health and lives when they had not right to do so.

2. How can you apply the learning from this module (either universalism or utilitarianism) to the Tuskegee case?

Utilitarianism is defined as:
1. The belief that the value of a thing or an action is determined by its utility. 2. The ethical theory proposed by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill that all action should be directed toward achieving the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. 3. The quality of being utilitarian

With the definition of the word utilitarianism I am not quite sure that this would fit for this case. How did the means justify the end for the greater good of mankind? How can you justify this study was conducted for the greater good? If the participants...
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