In 1932, the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) initiated an experiment in Macon County, Alabama, to determine the syphilis outbreak in African Americans. The intent of the experiments known as the Tuskegee Experiments was to figure out and study the outbreak of syphilis within black males, females, and children. Within the experiment, there were 600 people, in which 399 people, part of the experimental group, who had the disease and another 201 who did not. The 201 were there for a control group to see what the treatments, if any were to be given, would affect a healthy human being.
In order to agree that studies and exams for be given, consent must be written or given. Unfortunately, seeming most of the clients were illiterate, meaning they could not read and/or write, it was passed off as an informal consent. The consent agreed that the enrolled would receive meals of treatment days, rides to and ...view middle of the document...
The doctors feared that if the clients did not receive any treatment, they would quit the study. In the end result, about 30 percent of the original experiment group dies due to directly from syphilitic lesions of the either cardiovascular or the central nervous system.
Syphilis is a chronic bacterial disease that is contracted chiefly by infection during sexual intercourse, but also congenitally by infection of a developing fetus. This explains why and how some women and children were diagnosed with the disease. Early/primary stage would develop sores, around either the genitals or by the mouth area. Early stage can be treated immediately but untreated, can heal without scaring after a few months. If the infection isn't treated, it may then progress to a stage characterized by severe problems with the heart, brain, and nerves that can result in paralysis, blindness, dementia, deafness, impotence, and even death if it's not treated.
A huge cure for syphilis would have been penicillin, but do to rules and laws of the USPHS, it was not a fully tested treatment result for the disease. The experiments ended on July 25, 1972, when Jean Heller of the Associated Press broke the story that appeared simultaneously both in New York and Washington, that there had been a 40-year nontherapeutic experiment called "a study" on the effects of untreated syphilis on Black men in the rural south. It was considered unethical that this could happen underneath the radar of the public knowledge for so long. In October, the Assistant Secretary for Health and Scientific Affairs officially declared a stop and the decease of the Tuskegee Experiments. As part of the class-action suit settlement, the U.S. government promised to provide a range of free services to the survivors of the study, their wives, widows, and children. All living participants became immediately entitled to free medical and burial services. In 1997, President Bill Clinton formally apologized and held a ceremony in the honor of the experiment subjects, only 5 out of 8 remaining showed up.