Steve Roussas - RES/351
September 5, 2012
The Tuskegee syphilis study was an unethical research study conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service from 1932 to 1972 on a poor African American community in Tuskegee, Alabama. There were 600 men involved including 301 men that had already contracted syphilis and 299 men that had not. The ramifications of the unethical research that was conducted on these men affected their spouses, children and the African American community.
Business Research Ethics
It is important to exhibit ethical behavior in research and business. Business Research Methods states, “The goal of ethics in research is to ensure that no one is harmed or suffers adverse consequences from research activities” (Cooper & Schindler, 2011). In some situations, this does not occur and can negatively impact research participants and a company’s image. The Tuskegee syphilis study is an example of what can happen when research is not conducted ethically. The U.S. Public Health Service conducted the study between 1932 and 1972 in Tuskegee, Alabama to study the natural progression of syphilis (Fourtner, A. W., Fourtner, C. R., & Herreid, C., 2006). The study was conducted on poor African American men who worked as sharecroppers in the region. They were under the impression that they were being treated for “bad blood”, which was a local term used to describe illnesses that they were unable to diagnose (Lederer, S. 2005). The U.S. Public Health Service employed the help of an African American nurse to gain the trust of the men and encouraged them to participate in the study by offering them free burial insurance, meals and medical care (Claiborneee, R.,2010). The study was only supposed to last 6 months but continued on for 40 years and its effects on the African American society it impacted are still evident today. During the 40 year period that the study was conducted many ethical boundaries...