What three Rights of Patients and Research Participants do you think were most violated in the Tuskeegee Syphilis Study?

Discussion: Ethical Issues and Patients’ Rights

In your readings, you learned about the rights that patients have to receive treatment, refuse treatment, and participate in research.  According to the American Psychological Association (APA, 2010), individuals who participate in psychological research have the following rights:

to be informed about the purpose of the research study
to privacy
to be treated with respect and dignity
to be protected from physical and mental harm
to choose to participate or to refuse to participate without prejudice
to anonymity in the reporting of results
to the safeguarding of their records

In 1932, The U.S. Public Health Service in partnership with the Tuskeegee Institute, began a study to record the natural history and progression of syphilis in the hopes of developing treatment programs for African Americans.  The Tuskegee Syphilis Study (U.S. Public Health Service, 1932) involved 625 black males; 425 with syphilis and 200 without, and continued for over 30 years.  All of the participants were poor and semi-literate and throughout the study none of the men were told they had syphilis.

The intent was to observe how the disease progressed, however, 15 years into the study the cure of penicillin was found, but treatment was withheld from the participants.  Read the Tuskegee Timeline (Links to an external site.) https://www.cdc.gov/tuskegee/timeline.htm about the effects of the study, to assist you in developing your discussion post responses.

In your initial post:

What three Rights of Patients and Research Participants do you think were most violated in the Tuskeegee Syphilis Study? Support your post with examples from the assigned study.

Discuss what ethical standards could have been in place to prevent the violations from occurring.

What three Rights of Patients and Research Participants do you think were most violated in the Tuskeegee Syphilis Study?

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