Tuskegee Study

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In today's society we often take the scientific knowledge for granted and don't think about how it was acquired. Many of the experiments and case studies have various concerns about scientific methods and ethics regarding the subjects. Tuskegee Study is one the known studies in US history. The subjects of this experiment were 399 poor African American males who had syphilis. The researchers intended to gain more knowledge about the disease by leaving the subjects/patients untreated even though a cure was available. In addition, the subjects were never informed about their condition and were expected to live their normal life. The question of ethics towards the subjects arose 40 years after the study began and eventually the study was terminated and in another 25 years the former subjects received an apology from the United States government.
One of the important lessons this study taught us is the appreciation of the subjects and protection of their rights. The policy of Informed Consent was adopted by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) requires that the subjects of the experiment or case study are informed about the details of the experiment. In some cases the IRB allows the debriefing of the subjects, which is telling the subjects about the purpose of the experiment after it's concluded. The Tuskegee study should be very important to us today because there are thousands of studies taking place in the United States at any given time and it is important to feel protected from any possible harm that might result from the experiment.

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This page contains a single entry by anta0012 published on October 2, 2011 8:21 PM.

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