Ethical Issues Involving the Tuskegee Syphilis Study 1
Ethical Issues Involving the Tuskegee Syphilis Study
Ethical Issues Involving the Tuskegee Syphilis Study 2
In order for us to understand how the conflicts in medical research and ethics relate to the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, we must first understand the generalizations regarding medical research and ethics. According to the Hastings Center Report, Carol Levine states, ¡§Research ethics was born in scandal and reared in protectionism.¡¨ For the most part, conflicts of interest are imbedded throughout the process of medical research. The beginning was sparked by the tragedies of the Nazi doctors and the Nuremberg Trials. The Nuremberg Trials were followed by U.S. scandals; U.S. scandals first brought forth by Henry Beecher in his famous New England Journal of Medicine article and then followed by the revelation of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.
These kinds of scandals led justifiably to a response from the Federal Government. This response would be one that relies solely upon trust. In the sixties, James Shannon introduced the notion of assurance in which institutions and investigators would be trusted to carry out the federal rules, to review research prospectively and to follow the rules that have been put in place. There are immoral as well as moral trust relationships. If researchers are going to rely on the trust of patient subjects, of human volunteers, or that trust of taxpayers, to participate in research, then those researchers should not only rely and build on their trust, but build a system that is trustworthy as well. There are always going to be all sorts of questions about conflicts as long as there is a system of prospective review in which a person's other welfare depends on that income in the process of research. One of the first questions that come to mind is whether or not the Tuskegee Syphilis Study contained any moral or ethical reasoning at...