Tuskegee Experiment

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For the benefit of patient the medical profession has long subscribed to a body of ethical statements. It is used to safeguard the patient life and rights. But there have been times where these same rights are infringed upon and it is mostly due to lack of knowledge, social standing, or lack of monetary means all of which encompass a persons socio-economic status. Two different case studies will be evaluated to determine whether or not there truly is an effect on medical ethics. The first will be the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, and the case of Henrietta Lacks and the Hela cells. The Tuskegee Syphilis experiment was an experiment conducted on 399 black mean during the course of forty years. The subjects for this experiment were illiterate…show more content…
They were told that they were being treated of ‘bad blood” and the doctors who conducted this study had no intention of curing the patients of syphilis at all; their focus of the experiment was to see the symptoms from beginning to end. The doctors of the experiment persuaded people to join the trial by offering to pay for burial services and by providing care for their illness which they thought was something else. This experiment targeted African Americans that had no education level to know that they were being manipulated. They were taught to believe that doctors were there to help and nothing they would do would harm them. Like when the only real cure for syphilis was discovered the patients were denied of treatment. The first major ethical issue that should be considers is informed consent, which is informing the research participants what they are participating and all aspects of the project/ experiment that might cause the patient to not participate. The second issue is withholding treatment for the purpose of research. As doctors and caretakers it is the job to take care and cure rather than…show more content…
Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1951 at John Hopkins. The doctors at the institution took samples from her cervix without her permission and attempted to keep them alive. After her death her cells later known as Hela cells, became a vital part to scientific research. This because her cells were considered immortal, and they multiplied at substantial rate and this is the first time that scientist had seen anything like this. Hela cells were used to cure many diseases and illness but Henrietta’s family had no idea what was happening to her cells. The doctors at Johns Hopkins created a billion dollar industry on her cells and there was no compensation for the family. In Rebecca Skloots book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” she talks about how Henrietta signed a consent form allowing her doctors to perform whatever procedure for the care and treatment of her cancer but there is no indication that of permission from Henrietta that allowed the doctors to take samples of her for medical research. Because of Henrietta’s socio-economic status, she might of felt as if she had no choice and she wasn’t educated enough to ask questions about what was being done to her. The same goes for her family they had no idea what procedure were being done on her and it was this vulnerability that the family faced exploitation. The ethical and moral obligation of

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