The Tuskegee Syphilis Study Exploratory Essay

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study Exploratory Essay

Any activity such as study, policy or project with the hope of success must involve participants at all stages. birdie assignment In a project, participants ought to be involved in needs assessment, project identification, planning, monitoring and evaluation. When making policies, the subjects to the policy should be involved right from policy planning and formulation, up to evaluation.


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This ensures that the beneficiaries own the entire process of the study, project or policy and that they give their consent for the study to advance (Annas & Grodin, 1992). Creation of a good rapport between researchers and the target population enhances goal achievement. reviews This paper outlines a brief summary of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.

The Tuskegee syphilis study brought the unethical nature of some researchers into the limelight of the society. The study involved 400 African American males between 1932 and 1972. uk edu birdie The United States Public Health Service carried out the study (Gray, 1998).

It derives its name from the area where it was conducted-Tuskegee in Alabama. au edu The sole intent of the study was to expose the effects of untreated syphilis. The researchers felt that by studying the effects of the disease, they would come up with its “natural course.”

The government researchers never informed the participants about the aim of the study nor did they get their consent. The researchers edubirdie did not ask them to participate, and the subjects did not do it voluntarily. edgy birdie Furthermore, the researchers duped the subjects into thinking that government doctors were sufficiently philanthropic to offer them free treatment (Gray, 1998).

In fact, many participants thought that they were getting a perfect cure for “diseased blood” from the investigators. Participants were website not aware that they were suffering from syphilis, and nobody told them about the development and treatment of the disease.

This was extremely unethical of the researchers. edubirdie fraud As if that were not enough, they ensured the study involved the blacks who did not have adequate resources for quality medical attention.


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One can deduce that the researchers targeted the vulnerable population in society; the poor, semiliterate people of African origin. They failed to give the patients antibiotics, which would have improved their health significantly (Aschengrau & Seage, 2008).

Previously, patients suffering from syphilis got treatment in the form of “heavy metals” but with the invention of antibiotics, there were high hopes of better healthcare among the patients. edubirdie create account They knew they would get instant treatment for their conditions.

The study came to an end in 1972, after having taken place for more than two decades. edubirdie essay writing service This came after the national media criticized the government researchers, who could not even administer penicillin to the patients, leave alone notifying them about their illness. Such a study is widely unacceptable.

However, it served as an eye opener to many ethical-concerned institutions, and it marked the beginning of the concept of review informed consent (Gray, 1998). This is the right of participants in a study to understand the nature, as well as, risks and benefits of a research process.

The issue of informed consent also marked advancements in the field of social research. study birdies There was the incorporation of ethics into this field, and rarely do researchers conduct their studies without an informed consent.

In summary, the moral integrity of any researcher is crucial in a study. It is quintessential to involve all participants of a study in the whole process of study. edubirdie fake They ought to be told clearly about the goals and benefits of a research. This enhances their participation as they feel they are working with reputable people.


Annas, G. & Grodin, M. (1992). The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code . New York: Oxford University Press.


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Aschengrau, A., & Seage, G. R., III (2008). Essentials of Epidemiology in Public Health (2nd e d.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

Gray, F. (1998). The Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Montgomery, AL: Black Belt Press.