- Teaching Notes
A Case Study of the Tuskegee Syphilis Project
Charles R. Fourtner
Clyde Freeman Herreid
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. Sponsored 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.
|Keywords:||Tuskegee; syphilis; human experimentation; experimental design; research ethics; medical ethics; bioethics; Nuremberg Code; informed consent|
|Topical Area:||Ethics, History of science, Legal issues, Policy issues, Scientific method, Social issues, Social justice issues|
|Educational Level:||High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, Graduate, Professional (degree program), General public & informal education|
|Subject Headings:||Biology (General) Medicine (General) Science (General) Public Health Science Education|
|Copyright:||Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.|
Case teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience and how the case may be taught, a case analysis or answer key, and references.
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