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Benchmark - Research Disasters Structure

Essay by stephaniee1998  •  March 18, 2018  •  Essay  •  573 Words (3 Pages)  •  267 Views

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Stephanie Suru


February 18 ,2018

Megan Haneline

Benchmark- Research Disasters Structure

        Starting in 1932 and until 1972, hundreds of African American men were involved in a study to provide the history of syphilis with the hope of finding a cure. The participants agreed to this study not knowing the severity of the disease and most of them were unaware of having the disease itself, thus forth making this experiment very unethical.  

This was only the beginning of testing’s in order to find a cure to diseases. It began in 1932, the Public Health Service was working with the Tuskegee Institution to begin research in order to find a treatment for black men with syphilis (CDC, 2017). The study started with 600 black men, 399 participants with syphilis, and 201 undiagnosed participants known as the control subjects. (CDC, 2017).  The men in this study didn’t know they had syphilis but were told they had a “bad blood” and had been given placebos even though penicillin was known to cure this disease by 1940 (NIX, 2017). While this study was supposed to only last 6 months, it went on for 40 years.

In 1972, a press story about the experiment caused a public outcry that led for an advisory panel to review the study in its entirety. The panel had found that the participants in the study did mutually agree to it, however they did not know what they were agreeing to. There was no evidence that the men were aware of the situation and the real purpose of the study (CDC, 2017). The men were never given real treatment for the disease, even though it was easy and available at the time.

The experiment was unethical to the point that the researchers could have cured the men, but only prolonged the illness to learn more about the disease itself. Reeling in the men into the study was brought on in a way of bribing them. They were given false information and given things such as free medical exams, free meals, and free burial insurance to mask the real purpose of the study (CDC, 2017).  They were even given free special treatments or in other words known as unnecessary spinal taps done without anesthesia to study the neurological affects of syphilis (Heinzleman, 2003).  Even with the treatment of the disease being available, scientists withheld it to the men to see how far the illness would worsen.



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