Response to discussion questions on the Tuskegee Syphilis Study of 1932.
Solution addresses the following questions.
Was this study ethical?
Why or why not?
What are the four legacies of this study (or lessons learned from the study)?
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Tuskegee Syphilis Study of 1932
While using human trials to test vaccination is not unethical, the Tuskegee Syphilis study of 1932 went beyond just using humans to test for a new drug. It is immoral to intentionally transmit a disease to a living human being for the sole intention of study its effects. To infect a few people with syphilis in the name of science, implies that it is permissible to do the same to any human being. If it is immoral to infect the entire world population with syphilis, then logically it follows that infecting the 399 black men who were part of the experiment is immoral. If it is wrong to do it to the entire population, then it is a wrong to experiment on the few. The utilitarian argument that a “small harm” in order to help the many does not work in this case....
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