The Tuskegee Experiment

Good for history of public health

Abagond

The Tuskegee Experiment (1932-1972) was a 40-year American government study of the effects of untreated syphilis on black men. “Untreated” is the key word: when a cure for the disease was found in the 1940s, none of the men were allowed to receive it, not even to save their lives or stop them from going mad.

It sounds like some cruel Nazi experiment. And yet it went on even after laws were passed in the late 1940s to prevent cruel Nazi experiments!

Of the 399 men in the study 128 died directly or indirectly from the disease. Theyspread it to 40 of their wives who in turn gave it to 19 of their children.

At least as early as 1966 some within the government began to question the study on moral grounds. But the CDC (Center for Disease Control) defended it and the study went on. It did…

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