Minority Health Archive

Racism and Research: The Case of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study

Brandt, Allan M. (1978) Racism and Research: The Case of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Hastings Center Report, 8 (6). pp. 21-29.

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In 1932 the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) initiated an experiment in Macon County, Alabama, to determine the natural course of untreated, latent syphilis in black males. The test comprised 400 syphilitic men, as well as 200 uninfected men who served as controls. The first published report of the study appeared in 1936 with subsequent papers issued every four to six years, through the 1960s. When penicillin became widely available by the early 1950s as the preferred treatment for syphilis, the men did not receive therapy. In fact on several occasions, the USPHS actually sought to prevent treatment. Moreover, a committee at the federally operated Center for Disease Control decided in 1969 that the study should be continued. Only in 1972, when accounts of the study first appeared in the national press, did the Department of Health, Education and Welfare halt the experiment.

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Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is available at the publisher’s Web site. Access to the full text is subject to the publisher’s access restrictions.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Tuskegee Syphilis Study; U.S. Public Health Service
Subjects: Health > Health Equity > Bioethics
Health > Public Health
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    Depositing User: Users 141 not found.
    Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2008
    Last Modified: 21 Mar 2012 22:14
    Link to this item (URI): http://health-equity.lib.umd.edu/id/eprint/1089

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