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The Tuskegee Syphilis Study


Photograph of participants in the Tuskegee syphilis study.
Photograph of participants in the Tuskegee syphilis study.
Government photograph/public domain

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study is one of the modern world's most infamous incidents of unethical medical research. The study's researchers told its participants that they were being treated for syphilis, but in reality, they weren't.

Tracy's Research:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Syphilis – CDC Fact Sheet." 1/30/2017. https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/stdfact-syphilis.htm
  • Tampa, M et al. “Brief History of Syphilis.” Journal of Medicine and Life 7.1 (2014): 4–10. Print. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3956094/
  • Frith, John. " Syphilis – Its early history and Treatment until Penicillin and the Debate on its Origins." Journal of Military and Veterans' Health. Vol. 20, No. 4. http://jmvh.org/article/syphilis-its-early-history-and-treatment-until-penicillin-and-the-debate-on-its-origins/
  • "Syphilis, 1494–1923." Contagion: historical Views of Diseases and Epidemics. Harvard University Library Open Collections Program. http://ocp.hul.harvard.edu/contagion/syphilis.html
  • " History of Tuskegee University." Tuskegee University. http://www.tuskegee.edu/about_us/history_and_mission.aspx
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee." https://www.cdc.gov/tuskegee/timeline.htm
  • Reverby, Susan M. "More Than Fact and Fiction: Cultural Memory and the Tuskegee Syphilis Study." The Hastings Center Report, Vol. 31, No. 5 (Sep. - Oct., 2001). Via JSTOR. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3527701
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Fact Sheet on the 1946-1948 U.S. Public Health Service Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Inoculation Study." https://www.hhs.gov/1946inoculationstudy/factsheet.html
  • Brandt, Allan M. "Racism and Research: The Case of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study." The Hastings Center Report, Vol. 8, No. 6 (Dec., 1978). http://www.jstor.org/stable/3561468
  • Higby, Gregory J. et al. " Tuskegee Syphilis Study Revisited." Pharmacy in History, Vol. 41, No. 4 (1999). Via JSTOR. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41112664
  • Heller, Jean. "Syphilis Victims in U.S. Study Went Untreated for 40 Years." Associated Press/New York Times. July 26, 1972.
  • Jones, James. "Bad Blood: The Scandalous Story of the Tuskegee Experiment – When Government Doctors Played God and Science Went Mad." Free Press. 1981.
  • Alsan, Marcella and Marianne Wanamaker. "Tuskegee and the Health of Black Men." National Bureau of Economic Research working paper. http://www.nber.org/papers/w22323

Topics in this Podcast: 20th century, racism, medical history, show notes


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