Ethical Principles Violated in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study
The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment was an infamous case conducted between 1932 and 1972 in Tuskegee, Alabama by the U.S. Public Health Service to study the natural movement of untreated syphilis in poor, country Black men who thought they were receiving free health care from the U.S. government. They started their studies in 1932, on 600 low-income African American men, out of which 399 who had before contracted syphilis, and 201 without the disease. (Wikipedia, n.d.).According to The American Psychological Association (APA), they violated ethical principles in several ways.
Freedom from coercion: Every human being has rights to make choices about their lives and not to be forced in certain activities as recognized in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 (Friesen,2010). In the ...view middle of the document...
(Claude Moore Health Sciences Library).
Limited deception: The study continued, under numerous US Public Health Service supervisors, until 1972, when a drip to the press eventually resulted in its finish. The victims of the study included numerous men who died of syphilis, wives who contracted the disease, and children born with congenital syphilis.
Adequate debriefing: Individuals used in deceptive research must also be debriefed after the study to make sure that they suffer no tasting ill effects. The number of subjects who died from syphilis was never known. However, the estimate shows that, the number of survivors was estimated to be between 76 and 111, and the number of dying was estimated between 28 and 101.
Confidentiality: Psychologists have a primary obligation and take reasonable precautions to protect confidential information obtained through or stored in any medium, recognizing that the extent and limits of confidentiality may be regulated by law or established by institutional rules or professional or scientific relationship. The study became unethical in the 1940s when penicillin became the recommended drug for treatment of syphilis and researchers did not offer it to the subjects. (U.S. Public health Service).
Diversity: Researchers must use a diversity of subjects in their work to show that the results are applicable to different races, sizes and cultures. In the study, the researchers just use black male in the study, which violates the principle or diversity.
To summarize the Tuskegee study did not respect ethical principles, no diversity, no informed consent, no confidentiality and the researchers coerced the subjects into the study and did not let them have a proper medication to treat the syphilis. In my personal opinion, this study is a shame for the scientific field and forms a disgrace in the African American population because the researchers used just black people in the study, which means that they were treated that way because of the color of their skin.