Conflict Between Research and Ethics

As I was reading the article I was shocked with how the study was performed and I can’t believe that it really happened before. I can’t believe that there are people who can do such an inhumane act onto other innocent people even if lets just say; for the benefit of people or for scientific and research study which will benefit many.

It cannot justify the need of doing such things like not informing them of their condition and deliberately keeping them what they should know about their disease and not treating their disease even though there is a cure for it and much worst, even if their doctor’s, they just tracked them and they just study the physiological effects of the syphilis letting them untreated.

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Under the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment which were conducted to poor and mostly illiterate African American, the subjects hasn’t been treated with due care and they haven’t been given any warning and were not informed of their diagnosis, instead they have been labeled as low people who can just readily be subjected to such cruel acts. They have been given standard treatments that are known to be toxic, dangerous and questionably effective.

The conductors of the study have taken them advantage by offering them free medical checkups, meals, burial assistance when they die and free rides to the clinic as an exchange in participating with the study. Even if penicillin has been already available for the treatment of syphilis during that time, they have been deprived of taking it, causing chronic and fatal diseases due to un-treatment. Rather than treating them with penicillin, Tuskegee doctors didn’t give them penicillin and the information about it just to study them and to study how syphilis spreads through the body and kills its victim.

And much worst, the patients were prohibited from accessing treatment for syphilis which were available to other people near their hometown, and this for me is the worst thing had happen with the participants, for me, they have been treated like guinea pigs or lab rats and haven’t been given the rights that should be given to everyone. There are really good outcomes which can be derived from the study of syphilis, but the way they performed it is ethically wrong and unforgivable.

If we would look closely to the research we can see that the research has really can give benefits to future patients who would gain from the study. Aside from therapeutic research outcomes, the study could also help patients and medical professionals in treating the venereal diseases such as syphilis. After it has been exposed to the media and caught the attention of many the government investigated the situation and proper ways have been done.

After Tuskegee Syphilis Study which has been quoted as the most well-known biomedical research experiment in the history of the United States, investigation boards has been founded like the National Human Investigation Board specifically started due to the controversy as well as the foundation of the Institutional Review Boards, National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research and the National Research Act.

The one who is responsible for the Tuskegee Syphilis Controversy more specifically the US public health service is liable to the people who have been affected and maltreated. After the controversy the US president Clinton apologized the affected people for what have happened and assured the public that it will never happen again. If I were in the position, in the first place, I wouldn’t allow such research to be started especially if other people included in the research will be badly and wrongly subjected to studies like the Tuskegee.

And, if the study is really important and in need of participants, I would completely and exactly explain to them what will be the risk and outcomes of the study. I will value the rights of every person whoever they are and whatever their races will be.

References Encarta (n. d. ). Medical Ethics. Retrieved December 3, 2007, from http://encarta. msn. com/encyclopedia_761580701_3/Medical_Ethics. html#p48


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