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Tuskegee Experiment's Violation of Ethical Guidelines

Essay by   •  August 14, 2011  •  Essay  •  458 Words (2 Pages)  •  4,505 Views

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Abstract

The APA has several ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. The principles that follow the ethical research with human participants include: Freedom from coercion, informed consent, limited deception, adequate debriefing, and confidentiality. These principles were highly violated in the Nineteen-thirty two-Nineteen seventy two "Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment", in which human beings were considered "subjects" of an immoral experiment to find the cure for the wide spreading disease of syphilis in the Macon County of Alabama. The purpose of this study of the unethical research used towards the many victims is to demonstrate the historic background, guidelines, media, and destruction that were made during the place of time where this experiment was held.

Tuskegee Experiment's Violation of Ethical Guidelines

The Tuskegee Experiment was held initially by The Public Health Service who started the study of the syphilis disease amongst a group of black men in the Macon County. The intention that was told to the public was that the institution's purpose is to give free medical health services, in which this was not the case. As the participation is the country grew, the study submitted 399 black males who had the disease of syphilis, and 201 black men who did not have the disease, in which they all became subjects of such a corrupted experiment that had just begun.

An ethical principle that was violated in the experiment included Freedom from coercion, in which the subjects were manipulated to compel what was occurring in the experiment. Many ways that this was done, was by letters being sent out to the patients by the doctors to continue to follow up the "Special Free Treatment" in which were spinal taps to study the effects of syphilis. Some of the requirements of being a subject were to undergo an autopsy after death in order to receive the funeral benefits. These innocent men were robbed of their freedom, and unawareness of the real facts and details that were actually being taken place.

"Prevailing medical ethics at the time did not have the exacting standards for informed consent currently expected, and doctors routinely withheld information about patients' conditions from them.(Wikipedia)" In which brings us into one of the violation of ethics, informed consent. The subjects of the experiment were not given informed consent, the government conducted this experiment without the consent of the patients when they were enrolled, because they didn't even know themselves that they were part of an experiment, they were lied to and deceived. According to APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conducts, Informed consent is mandated by law or governmental regulation and participants of a research must know the purpose, procedures, and

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