Think You Know The Tuskegee Experiment? Then You Need To See This

March 12, 2019

You may have heard of the infamous Tuskegee Experiment, but many get the details twisted: the government-sponsored study went from 1932 to 1972, during which 399 poor Black men who were ALREADY infected with syphilis were not provided treatment once it was available.

When a physician told him about the study in the 1960s, Dr. William Carter Jenkins looked into it - and discovered the horror of how Black participants were being treated.

Black men were purposefully kept in the dark about having a sexually transmitted infection! When Dr. Jenkins spoke to his supervisor about it, he was told, “Don’t worry about it.” Come to find out - his white supervisor knew, and was monitoring the study!

He wrote an article blasting the experiment but it didn’t gain much attention. Later, a health service scientist exposed the study, which led to its ultimate shut down.

Dr. Jenkins was so upset he couldn’t stop the Tuskegee Study that he went back to school to become an epidemiologist and continued to advocate for high-quality and ethical research for fifty years.

He continued to fight against discrimination in medical studies and, thanks to his and other’s work, we have much more ethical medical studies and safer scientific standards today.

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