Friday, May 09, 2008

More On The Tuskegee Study

A Story Of Doctors Who Lacked Ethics
In Public Health Service Study
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male also known as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, Pelkola Syphilis Study, Public Health Service Syphilis Study or the Tuskegee Experiment was a clinical study, conducted between 1932 and 1972 in Tuskegee, Alabama, in which 399 poor — and mostly illiterate — African American sharecroppers, who already suffered from syphilis, were studied to observe the natural progression of the disease if left untreated.

This study was criticized because it was conducted without due care to its subjects, and led to major changes in how patients are protected in clinical studies. Individuals enrolled in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study did not give informed consent and were not informed of their diagnosis; instead they were told they had "bad blood" and could receive free medical treatment, rides to the clinic, meals and burial insurance in case of death in return for participating.

In 1932, when the study started, standard treatments for syphilis were toxic, dangerous, and of questionable effectiveness. Part of the original goal of the study was to determine if patients were better off not being treated with these toxic remedies. Doctors recruited 399 black men who already had syphilis, to study the progress of the disease over the course of 40 years. A control group of 201 healthy men was studied to provide a comparison.
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