Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

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In the Racism and Research: the case of the Tuskegee Syphilis study by Allan M Brandt, the main discussion points were the experiment to determine the natural course of untreated latent syphilis in the black males, the unethical way they went on to conduct their experiment, and the racist believe that were more likely to obtain and pass on syphilis. The result of the study showed that the experiment main focus was on the pathology of racism and not much about the pathology of syphilis. The actual syphilis experiment showed that “syphilis in this period [latency] tends to greatly increase of manifestations of cardiovascular disease.” (Brandt, pg. 25) Also, that 30 percent or more of the subject in the test group autopsies shows they had directly…show more content…
The members of the community who did have syphilis were denied actual treatment and were forced to live through the effects of the disease until death came. They were lured by the promise of a “special free treatment” that were actually spinal tabs conducted without any anesthesia. Spinal taps were used to sty the neurological effects of syphilis. This study was unethical, by the way it was conducted. The denial of syphilis treatment to these men and the USPHS seeking to prevent treatment to the ones’ seeking treatment was morally wrong. All these African Americans were placed to participate in an experiment, without having the knowledge or chance to know what the experiment was about or give their consent to be in the experiment. This experiment is responsible for the death possibly 101 men, deaths that could have been prevented if they were given the chance to take penicillin when it became the preferred medical treatment for syphilis. In 1927, Alabama passed a law that required the treatment and the reporting of several venereal diseases, syphilis being included in those several venereal diseases. USPHS ignored this state law and violating a state requirement, disregarding the impact of untreated syphilis on the wives of the subjects. They didn’t care that they were jeopardizing the health of the whole community by leaving this communicable disease untreated. Lastly, no records were ever kept about the number of subjects who died from syphilis. No explanation was given about why no records were made for this
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