Discuss how the Tuskegee Study started out and the intent of the research (3 points).

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From 1932 to 1972, the U.S. Public Health Service conducted an unsound medical experiment called The Tuskegee. It was originally designed to record the natural history and treatment of untreated Syphilis among African American men living in Macon County in Alabama. Researchers recruited 600 men. 399 had latent Syphilis while 201 served as controls.

Researchers wanted to see how the disease progressed over time. They did not offer any treatment. The long-term effects of untreated siphilis on the body were investigated by the researchers. This included damage to the heart and nervous system as well as other organs.

The following are three key facts about the Tuskegee Studies:

  1. Participants were not informed that they had given their consent to the study. They were never informed that the men had syphilis and that they would be used as subjects for research. The men were not offered the chance to receive treatment even if it was available.
  2. While the initial study was only intended for 6 months, the 40-year-old experiment continued even after penicillin became available to treat syphilis. The men were not treated by the researchers, but the scientists continued to watch them even though they suffered from serious health issues and ultimately died.
  3. This study, which was carried out on African American men only, was racist in nature. Researchers wanted to see if there are racial differences between the stages of syphilis. This study propagated racist stereotypes regarding African Americans’ inherent inferiority and showed a disregard for their health and well being.
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