The Tuskegee Experiment

Topics: Ethics, Science, Informed consent Pages: 2 (790 words) Published: November 25, 2010
The Tuskegee experiment was yet another demonstration of racial inequalities and dehumanization illustrated by a people who believed in racial superiority. The experiment was unethical and demoralizing from the beginning. The analysis was corrupt and unethical for a plethora of reasons. The experiment disregarded several basic principles of the American Sociological Association’s code of ethics. Perhaps the greatest flaw in the experiment was the intended denial of treatment, which, in turn, directly affected the subject’s safety, violating the code of ‘protecting subjects from personal harm’. ‘Respect the subject’s right to privacy and dignity’ is an additional custom in the code of ethics ignored. The researchers clearly could not even conceive the thought of respecting these “inferior racial guinea pigs”, not their health, their dignity, or their humanity. The fact that these men were made a mockery of, lied to, and belittled affirms that the informed consent was nothing more than a deceitful tactic to involve the individuals. The men were advised that they were ill and were promised care, and were not told they were participants in an experiment, which precisely disrupts the code of ‘seeking informed consent when data are collected from research participants or when behavior occurs in a private context’. Though the event preceded the declaration of the informed consent notion, it is still fraudulent because of the timeline and deceptions planned and carried out by the conductors, therefore it should still be factored in, because of the depth and the fact that the participants were bamboozled. The fact that the treatments were ineffective have nothing to do with the experiment being ethical, as far as the conductors were concerned, treatment was out of the equation anyway, so the fact that the dosages were toxic is irrelevant. The advanced nature of the syphilis in each patient contributes to the prevailing thought that the study was not only...
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