discussion board and reply to 2 peers

Unit 1 Discussion

Once you have read all of the materials in the Readings for this unit, answer one of the following questions:

1. Describe how the Syphilis Study at Tuskegee violated beneficence, autonomy and justice principles of biomedical research.

2. What is informed consent and why was it disregarded in the Syphilis Study at Tuskegee?

3. The Nuremberg Code was enacted early in the Syphilis Study at Tuskegee. How did researchers circumvent the requirements?

4. What long-term damage was done to the field of biomedical research as a result of the Syphilis Study at Tuskegee?

Answer 2 peers

Grace Johnson posted Feb 28, 2020 7:29 AM


What is informed consent and why was it disregarded in the Syphilis Study at Tuskegee?

The process of informed consent starts by outlining the purpose, participants, procedures, benefits, and risks of a study so people can choose if they want to participate in the study or research. All pieces of information required in an informed consent statement will help someone decide if they are willing to participate. Further, the informed consent statement will outline confidentiality and make sure the participants know the study is voluntary followed by a signature. It is a requirement that the willing participant understand all aspects of the study before providing informed consent. People that have informed consent are healthy and conscience adults. Waivers for informed consent are required for pregnant women, children, and prisoners. (NIH, n.d.)

Poor African American men were used in a syphilis study without giving informed consent. They thought they were to receive free medical care and a treatment for syphilis when in fact they were never given a treatment. For a study that lasted 40 years but only was proposed for 6 months they were not told they could quit the study. As the time passed, a mainstream treatment for syphilis had been distributed to the population but the study participants never received it. “The panel found that the men had agreed freely to be examined and treated. However, there was no evidence that researchers had informed them of the study or its real purpose. In fact, the men had been misled and had not been given all the facts required to provide informed consent.” (CDC, 2015).


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). The Tuskegee timeline. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/tuskegee/timeline.htm

NIH Office of Extramural Research. (n.d.) Protecting human research participants. Retrieved from https://kapextmediassl-a.akamaihd.net/healthSci/HS305/1901B/PHRP_Course_Materials.pdf



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Ana Cruz posted Feb 27, 2020 5:41 PM

Hi Everyone,

Reviewing the reading material, the question I chose was the following:

1. Describe how the Syphilis Study at Tuskegee violated beneficence, autonomy and justice principles of biomedical research.

The syphilis study at Tuskegee has violated the three core principals of the Biomedical research ethics focusing in the best interest of the government rather than the participants. In the article about the Syphilis Study at Tuskegee provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated, “the study was conducted without the benefit of patients’ informed consent. Researchers told the men they were being treated for “bad blood””. In the process of this study, researchers fail to get proper consent from the participants who were being utilized as human subjects. Therefore, they fail in render proper treatments for those participants who needed it.

According to a book about Introduction to Health Research Methods by Kathryn H. Jacobsen stated as ethical considerations “research projects that involve interaction with individual participants and/or their personally identifiable data, each potential participant must be fully informed about the benefits and burdens of the study, the procedures involved, and the plans for use of the data collected.” It is important that all participants understand the whole process and the informed consent materials for the study. In this case study, there was a lack of information provided to the community. Therefore, the lack of integrity and professionalism contribute to the violation of compliance with the three principles which are respect, beneficence and justice.


Ana Cruz


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