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The ethics of human experimentation are explored in this case about the infamous syphilis studies performed at the Tuskegee Institute from the 1930s to the 1960s. Sponosred by the U.S. Public Health Service, 399 African American men with syphilis were recruited for a research study on the progression of the disease when left untreated. The case examines the science unerlyign the experiment as well as the ethical and racial issues. One of its goals is to help students understand the evolution in our thinking on issues of science, human experimentation, and race, and how they are conditioned by our culture. The case could be used in any course that explores the ethics of science.
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