Unethical Behavior In Miss Evers Boys

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In the film, Miss Evers' Boys, Eunice Evers demonstrates some unethical behavior when her and a fellow colleague begin a study on a group of African American men who suffer from syphilis. Prior to their study on the men, there had been a similar study conducted on white men. Doctor Brodus and Miss Evers were trying to prove to the people that syphilis can affect anyone. They began the study by testing the African American men for the disease, then provided them with treatment. Miss Evers provided them with minimal information about the disease, in order to get them to participate in the study. The treatment began with mercury rubs, but soon funding was cut and the doctor could no longer afford to use the mercury. The men were under the impression…show more content…
I believe an unethical issue arises when they convince the men to join the study because they are so uneducated. Miss Evers tried to use terms that the men could follow with ease. In the time period in which the movie takes place, it was very common for African American males to drop out of school in order to support and provide for their family. Miss Evers offered the minimal amount of information as possible in order to convince the men to join the study. She would say the men had “bad blood” instead of saying exactly what syphilis was. The men were not informed how the disease is spread from one individual to another. While the men were easily persuaded because they were not well educated, they were also willing to join because fifty dollars would be given to each man. During this time many African American men suffered financially; racism and segregation were still very common during this time frame. Miss Evers and Dr. Brodus were taking part in an unethical act when they took advantage of the men in terms of their lack of knowledge and money. Miss Evers and the Doctor knew very well that the men were uneducated and poor, so they used these two factors to gain their own personal gain. The study would ultimately prove that everyone, no matter the color of their skin, is equal when it comes to the disease of syphilis. The intention behind manipulating the men was not for the greater good of society, but instead was for the greater good of Dr. Brodus and Miss Evers. Although the actions of Dr. Brodus and Miss Evers prove to be unethical, I also find the actions to be unprofessional. Miss Evers should have informed the men of the severity of the disease, as well as how the disease is passed from one individual to another. They failed to inform their patients of many of the risks that came along with the disease. The focus of study
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