Human Experimentation & Medical Ethics

Olivia Balakos and Cristian Hudson

Photo: Participants in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.

The year is 1932. Scientists are trying to understand the impacts of untreated syphilis in Black men. Through unethical practices, they began experimenting on human bodies. And so began a 40-year study that would ultimately end in the termination of the study without any significant results. The victims of this study were left untreated, forcing them to suffer through the symptoms as well as impacting the families. This study was named the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment.


about the USPHS syphilis study. (n.d.). Tuskegee University.

Hill, A. (2018, April 18). Henrietta Lacks, the Tuskegee Experiment, and Ethical Data Collection: Crash Course Statistics #12. YouTube.

Momplaisir, F., Haynes, N., Nkwihoreze, H., Nelson, M., Werner, R. M., & Jemmott, J. (2021, February 9). Understanding Drivers of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccine Hesitancy Among Blacks – Clinical Infections Diseases. Oxford Academic.

Morse, M. (2021, January 14). Understanding and Ameliorating Medical Mistrust Among Black Americans. Commonwealth Fund. V Potassium. (2018, May 15). MedlinePlus.

Penicillin V Potassium. (2018, May 15). MedlinePlus.

Kartenberg, S. (n.d.). She moved through the fair. Audio.

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