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The Tuskegee Study and Ethics Essay (Critical Writing)

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Table of Contents
Introduction
Main body
Conclusion
References

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Introduction

The health care industry should provide society with significant benefits. To achieve it, medical professionals perform their duties and should abide by the law to avoid harming individuals. Thus, the Public Health Service investigators did their best to observe Alabama laws regarding dissection and autopsy in the mid-20th century. At the same time, they ignored their professional codes for human experimentation, and the Tuskegee Study revealed it. This paper will demonstrate that this discrepancy was caused by the absence of government regulations in the field of medical experiments.

Main body

The initial purpose of the Tuskegee Study was to determine what effects untreated syphilis could have and how it was possible to treat African Americans who had this disease. That is why the first documents about the experiment stated useful information. For example, it was mentioned that “morbidity in the male Negroes with untreated syphilis far exceeds that in a comparable presumably nonsyphilitic group” (Warner & Tighe, 2001, p. 392). Even though the original intentions were good, the study became infamous because the researchers did not warn the participants about all possible consequences. The scientists were free to do it because there were no government regulations concerning the topic. However, the Tuskegee Study revealed legal inefficiencies, and the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research appeared in 1974 (CDC, n.d.). In addition to that, there appeared regulations that “required researchers to get voluntary informed consent from all persons taking part in studies” (CDC, n.d., para. 3).

Conclusion

In conclusion, the members of the Tuskegee Study were mistreated because there were no rules or laws that could help avoid it. However, when the experiment faced much criticism, government bodies decided to develop some regulations to prevent similar situations from happening in the future. Even though the Tuskegee Study had a detrimental impact on many African Americans, it made the health care industry draw more attention to ethical considerations.

References

CDC. (n.d.). How Tuskegee changes research practices. Web.

Warner, J. H., & Tighe, J. A. (2001). Major problems in the history of American medicine and public health: documents and essays. Houghton Mifflin.

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