The Tuskegee Syphilis Study

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In 1932, there was a study that was given in Macon County, Alabama by the health department. The study was given to underprivileged African American men who were informed that they have bad blood disease. The health department offered these men health care without being charged to treat their rare blood disorder because by this time this blood disorder was a plague in their county. This study went on for over 40 years by Macon County health department. The health care services were never received by most of the men and the treatments was held back.

The Tuskegee syphilis study is one of the most awful immoral human organized studies. The majority of these men were infected with syphilis by receiving injection of this disease. The men who were infected were watch for the entire time of this study. The appalling part about this study to these underprivileged African American men was, they were not informed that they had been injected with syphilis. There was medicine to cure this disease since 1950’s, but the experiment continued until 1972. The medicine to cure this disease was penicillin.

The men that participated in the experiment that were told that they have syphilis by other health care providers, some of the previous health care providers recommended that they should not treat their disease. Many of these men who were injected with syphilis, passed away before the experiment was complete and most important without being cured. This study was brought to an end in 1973 by the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare once it was exposed and bringing humiliation to our government.

This research indicated that there was medical negligence from the Macon County health department located in Alabama. The Macon County health department demonstrated that they disrespect the rights of the underprivileged African American men, and human begins as a whole. The ones who performed the research was not bad or inexperienced doctors, they were well respected in their field of study as doctors. They just wanted to perform an experiment on the least advantage, so that is why they picked African American men.

They were unable to afford proper heath care and treatment. Also the African American men were unaware of their personal rights, because the doctors did not have their permission to inject the with this disease. The first person to bring this unethical story to the public in 1972 was Jean Heller. There were about 100 African American men who perished from this disease and others had different conditions that affected their health as a result of being injected with syphilis.

There was a class action law suit that was brought against anyone who was involved in this study. The purpose of the IRB (Institutional Review Board) is to guard the human rights and interests, and wellbeing of each individual involved in any research project. There are certain guidelines that the IRB has to uphold and follow. The Tuskegee Syphilis study did not follow any of the IRB rules or guidelines; in fact the IRB would not have approved of this study because it put the lives of many underprivileged African American men in danger and even caused them death.

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