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The 40 year history of Tuskegee and what are the ethics that were involved and how do we apply Human Rights to this condition an - Term Paper Example

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Name Professor Module Date Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment Most public health decisions are a product of the interplay between values and science. The health sector is advancing with the advent of new medical discoveries and advancements. However, others are being banned from the market owing to ethical concerns…
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The 40 year history of Tuskegee and what are the ethics that were involved and how do we apply Human Rights to this condition an
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Download file to see previous pages The Tuskegee experiment is the most prominent example of the conflicts between medical research and ethics. Instead of treating the participants with penicillin during the experiment, medical researchers withheld it. They ignored the ethical rules recommended for an effective research. The negative impact of the experiment affected future medical research related to venereal diseases such as needle exchange, blinded seroprevalence surveillance, and third world HIV prevention trials. History. Tuskegee is an event symbolizing racism and inequality in America instigated by racist workers from both science sector and the general society. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2009), the study was conducted in Macon County, Alabama from 1932 to 1972. It portrays the image of monstrous researchers who allowed black patients to suffer in the disguise of identifying the natural cause for syphilis. The study is the longest non-therapeutic experiment in human medical history. It involved 600 black men of which 399 exhibited signs of late syphilis. By the completion of the study in 1972, only a few of the subjects were alive. Lack of therapeutic treatment caused infection of forty participants’ wives. The participants were deceived that they are receiving the cure for infected blood in addition to other favors such as free medical care and the coverage of funeral expenses. The United States Public Health Service viewed the experiment as potentially beneficial to the health of the human kind without considering its side effects. Ethical Concerns. The experiment was established on the malicious premise that black people are promiscuous and lustful, and would not seek medication for venereal diseases. Therefore, the assumption made the experiment appear natural to the public health researchers (Brandt 23). The study did not involve informed consent among the parties involved. The participants were not well informed on the genuine purpose of the experiment. In fact, the subjects were never informed that they are being experimented upon, and on the contrary, they believed that they were receiving free medical care. They were not given the cure even though its existence was widely known. The participants were supposed to consent to an autopsy after death for them to be considered as beneficiaries of reprieve for funeral expenses. The public health researchers frustrated all the efforts of the participants of seeking alternative medical treatment (Fairchild and Bayer 919). Most participants were denied treatment in order to observe the dangers and the fatal progression of the condition. The failure to be informed on the true nature of the process implied that the participants were not aware of the inherent danger posed by the experiment. According to Brunner (2009), the experiment violated the World Health Organization’s Declaration of Helsinki of 1964 that requires the application of the informed consent when undertaking any medical research on humans. A misleading advertisement was used to seduce people to participate in the experiment. The slogan read, “Last Chance for Special Free Treatment” (Reverby 148). However, the participants were denied the promised treatment, and instead involved in a highly risky spinal tap-diagnostic. The researchers left the participants to die due to late syphilis where most of them suffered insanity, paralysis, heart disease, tumors and blindness. According to Bru ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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