In 1932, The America Government conducted a study of a group of 399 young healthy black males who were part of an U.S. Public Health Service experiment of black men in the late stages of syphilis.The men in the experiment for the most part were illiterate sharecroppers from one of the poorest counties in Alabama, and they were never told of what disease they were suffering from or of its seriousness.Informed that they were being treated for "bad blood," their doctors had no intention of curing them of syphilis at all.The information for the experiment was to be collected from autopsies of the men, and they were deliberately left to degenerate under the ravages of tertiary syphilis.Tertiary syphilis can include heart disease, tumors, paralysis, blindness, insanity, and death.The theory behind the study was that whites experienced more neurological complications from syphilis whereas blacks were more susceptible to cardiovascular damage.
At the end of the experiment only 28 of the men had died directly of syphilis, 100 had died from related complications, 40 of their wives had been infected, and 19 of their children had been born with congenital syphilis.The PHS had offered the men incentives to participate in this study: free physical examinations, free rides to and from the clinics, hot meals on examination days, free treatment for minor ailments, and a guarantee that a burial stipend would be paid to their survivors.This modest stipend of $50.00 represented the only from of burial insurance that many of the men had.
With this movie based on the true story of Tuskegee Syphilis Trial, it touched much deeper emotions inside myself.While watching this video I was in shock to see what our government did to it's own people.I had just found a new respect and trust for our country from my Constitutional Law class the previous term, and most of that was all gone by the end of the video.This was a textbo…