Tuskegee Syphilis Study

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There were 600 subjects, all who were African American men. There were a total of 399 men who tested positive from syphilis and 201 who were not infected. The objective of the study was to learn the effects of Syphilis on men. Upon the discovery of penicillin, it was not administered to those who were sick. When the study began, rules and guidelines on how to treat human beings in an experimental study had not been developed. As the study went on regulations on how to treat human subjects were coined. Tuskegee Syphilis Study ignored the guideline. hence, it became one of the most unethical studies ever conducted on human beings (Baker, 1260).Public health law created by Henderson Act in 1943 directed all people who had been diagnosed with syphilis to get penicillin treatment. Penicillin had been prescribed as the best treatment appropriate and safe for syphilis. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study failed to comply.World health Organization in 1964 through a declaration presented regulations on how human subjects should be treated in a study. In Tuskegee Syphilis Study, the subjects were not given treatment. Lack of treatment exposed the subjects to possible death. Tuskegee Syphilis Study ignored the regulations which implied that the value of human life was higher than the results of the study. Moreover, the declaration required a study to be discontinued if it causes harm to the subjects. The benefits of the study should be abandoned if the study endangered the subjects. Additionally, the consent of the human subjects was made mandatory and should be written before the study commences. Tuskegee Syphilis Study did not get the consent of the subject, nor did they inform them what the research entailed. They thought they were benefitting from the medical procedures (Gray, 35).Curran (730) mentions that, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study completely failed to follow the ethics and did not give protection to the subjects. After the introduction of