The Tuskegee Syphilis Study

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  • Topic: Syphilis, Tuskegee syphilis experiment, Tuskegee, Alabama
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  • Published : February 16, 2013
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Running head: THE TUSKEGEE SYPHILIS STUDY

The Tuskegee Syphilis StudyEssay
Nancy R. McCulloch
Grand Canyon University: 354
November 18, 2012

The Tuskegee Syphilis Essay
This essay discusses the medical experiments which were conducted by the United States Public Health Service between 1932 and 1972 in Tuskegee Alabama. 399 African -American adult male subjects were examined and diagnosed as having late stage syphilis. The main goal of the study was to periodically examine these men to determine how their bodies were affected by the syphilis disease. The thesis of this essay is that based on moral and ethical grounds, the Tuskegee experiments were indefensible.

In 1932, he U. S. government announced a new health program in Macon County, Alabama. This program included free examinations and was directed toward male African-Americans. When the government tested 3,684 males, they found 1,468 cases of syphilis. Initial testing reduced that number to 408 subjects. Free medical treatments were offered for their “bad blood” even though the main commitment of this study was to determine the effects that untreated syphilis would have on the human body over a period of time.

A control group of 200 men was added in the second phase for evaluation to the syphilitic group. This group was told that they would also be receiving free treatment. Neither the syphilitic nor the control group had any recourse to local hospitals or doctors and the local hospitals were told that they could not treat any patient in the government program Appointments had to be scheduled with the government doctors who told the groups that they were receiving penicillin. In reality, they were just receiving aspirin or some other ineffective treatment. Because the syphilis had not been treated the participants began to die and the doctors then performed autopsies, without obtaining permission from the family of the deceased. (Gray,1998).

By 1947, programs for...
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