beth 271 paper 3 - Bioethics 271 Professor Hyun The...

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April 25, 2007 Bioethics 271 Professor Hyun The Tuskegee Syphilis Study The Tuskegee Syphilis Study directly violated the Nuremberg Code and the Declaration of Helsinki. From 1932 to 1972, four hundred syphilitic men and two hundred uninfected men were unknowingly part of an experiment done by the U.S. Public Health Service to determine the natural course of untreated, latent syphilis in black males in Macon County, Alabama (Hyun, "The Tuskegee Syphilis Study”). There was no possible way for the Tuskegee Syphilis Study to be conducted in an ethical manner. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study foremost violated the first directive of the Nuremberg Code. The researches did not get the voluntary consent of the subjects; moreover, they did not obtain any form consent. The doctors told the men that they were ill and promised them free treatment. The U.S. Public Health Service told the men that they were being treated for syphilis, instead of telling them that they were participants in an experiment. At the end of the experiment, when the men became severely ill, the U.S. Public Health Service offered to pay their burial expenses so that they would come to the hospital to die (Brandt). The researchers preyed upon an at risk population. The Declaration of Helsinki states that, “Some research populations are vulnerable and need special
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protection. The particular needs of the economically and medically disadvantaged must be recognized” (World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki). The men they studied were uneducated, poor, and rural. The U.S. Public Health Service
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