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Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

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Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

The Book Bad Blood: the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment by James Howard Jones covers a disturbing account of a medical experiment conducted in Macon County, Alabama from the 1930's to the 1970's. The experiment consisted of 500 black male subjects and a few eager physicians, and medical scientists. Although the experiment ended up being a morally corrupt one, it was actually intended to bring up concerns about public health care for black men especially to raise awareness of Syphilis, which was a major epidemic at this time. The Public Health Service (PSH) was acting to solve this problem by putting out a syphilis control survey in the poverty stricken rural areas in the south with a large black population. When the study had ended with the survey, Doctor Taliaferro Clark pushed for a new research, which becomes the "Study of untreated syphilis in males", the longest nontherapeutic experiment in the human history(pg.91). The intent of the series of Syphilis experiments were nontherapeutic and were only conducted in order to gather information about the evolution of Syphilis among black men (pg.2).

The real truth behind all this corruption of the experiments were not revealed to the people participating in the research nor the public; the only thing the subjects knew of the experiment was that they were being paid well and treated well for their participation, many of them also believed that they were receiving treatment and care for their illness (Syphilis) (pg.4). Knowing the economical situation at this time the stipend of 50$ was a lot of money, and to know that they would be receiving free treatment gave the poor black men no reason to deny the offer.

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