Tuskegee Study

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U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee In 1932 an experiment was initiated by the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) to record the natural history of untreated, latent syphilis in African American men. The study took place in Macon County, Alabama; it involved 399 syphilitic men as well as 201 healthy, uninfected men to serve as the controlled group. This experiment which was “originally scheduled … to last six months.” as stated by Dr. Taliaferro Clark, Chief of the USPHS Venereal Disease Division, stretched out until 1972. Although the subjects consented to the study, they were not aware of the experiments which was brought upon them. Patients were simply told they were being treated for “bad blood”, a term used in the south referring to a variety of mostly minor diseases including syphilis. Over the years, significant consequential evidence has come out in public stating that the USPHS sought to prevent outer treatments for the syphilitic black men, in order to not disturb the conducting…show more content…
Brandt, in his essay Racism and Research: The Case of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, “To preserve the subjects ' interest, Vonderlehr gave most of the men mercurial ointment, a noneffective drug … This required Vonderlehr to write frequently to Clark requesting supplies. He feared the experiment would fail if the men were not offered treatment.” The test subjects were illiterate sharecroppers who thought they were receiving medicine for the so called “bad blood”. Vonderlehr writes “it would have been impossible to continue without the free distribution of drugs because of the unfavorable impression made on the negro.” The organization also offered free medical exams for the cooperating test subjects. “Some time ago you were given a thorough examination and since that time we hope you have gotten a great deal of treatment for bad blood… Remember This Is Your Last Chance For Special Free Treatment.” USPHS informs the
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