The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment was one of the most terrible and morally incorrect scientific experiments conducted by the United States government. It was outright violation of human rights and was an act of looking down at black people as expendables who can be used as laboratory rats and guinea pigs by the US government. All that US did at the end was to apologize. It is just one example of the heinous crimes of America. There are many others such as the Vietnam war and numerous war crimes were committed by the Americans without any eventual trial. That’s pretty shameful! We will talk about Vietnam war later but for now let us concentrate on the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment facts and find out what really happened and when did that happen.
Terrible Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment Facts: 1-10
1. The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment was conducted by the United States Public Health Service for a period of 40 years from 1932 to 1972.
2. 600 black men were select from one of the poorest counties in Alabama. These selected black men were African-Americans from Macon County and were impoverished sharecroppers.
3. Of these 600, 399 already had syphilis and rest 201 were free from the disease. The Public Health Service (PHS) wanted to see how the disease naturally progressed when left untreated.
4. The PHS told the selected population that they will be given burial insurance, meals and medical care for free so that they participated in the study willingly.
5. The test group was never even informed that they had contracted syphilis and nor were they informed how the disease would impact over the long run.
6. The PHS actually collaborated with Tuskegee Institute to conduct the study. This was the saddest part of the study because those from the institute who supported the study were themselves black African-Americans.
7. During the period when the study was conducted, Penicillin was already proven as an effective treatment for syphilis by late 1940s but none of the members of the test group were given penicillin.
8. As a matter of fact, the patients were informed that they were being treated for Bad Blood and the truth was kept hidden.
9. A study group was formed from the PHS’ venereal disease section at PHS national headquarters in 1932. It was formed by Taliaferro Clark with an initial goal of studying untreated syphilis for a period of 6-9 months and then begin with the treatment regimen.
10. Clark who also solicited the participation of Tuskegee Institute and regional office of Arkansas Public Health Service eventually found out that intention of the study was something different than initially intended and he backed out.