Blog Post # 2, Ethics A Plenty.

Tuskegee Experiments

This one is full of ethical wrong doing and is considered one of the worst atrocities in the history of the US government. It is one of the dark marks in medical history and one of the worst atrocities ever done to a human being.

To begin with, a large number of black males who were in the late stages of syphilis were told that they would be treated and cured of the disease. The doctors never actually told them it was syphilis, when they asked the doctors what they were being tested and treated for the doctors would inform them it was, “Bad Blood”. These men were also mostly illiterate sharecroppers from rural Alabama. Over the course of forty years doctors watched these men develop tumors, heart disease, paralysis, blindness, and many other complications from this horrible disease. Not to mention the disease was sometime passed onto their children.

Eventually the majority of the sharecroppers died from complications with the disease. One uneasy fact about these experiments were the doctors offered the men free burial insurance. This struck me as odd as I read through the stories about this experiment.

At one point there was a sweeping wave of treatments for STD’s including Syphilis and the people involved in the experiment were not allowed to get treatment from outside sources (Infoplease,1999.

Eventually a whistle blower came out of the woodwork and informed the public about what had happened. This lead to a massive investigation into the parties involved, a slew of new laws to protect people from this ever happening again and a dark mark on the US government.

Some of the ethical atrocities committed but not limited to are Racism, taking advantage of the subjects, lying out right to the subjects, disregard for human life, and the fact that even after the whistle was blown the parties responsible kept to the stance it was for the greater good.

References

Infoplease. (n.d.). The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. Retrieved from http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0762136.html

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