Tuskegee Experiment

The Tuskegee experiment, or the “Tuskegee study of untreated syphilis in the Negro male,” was a study funded by the federal government about the progression of syphilis among poor African American male residents in Alabama. The U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) controlled the research, based at the Tuskegee Institute, an African American educational facility founded by Booker T. Washington (1856–1915), a respected African American community leader. The study began in 1932 and continued for four decades.

In contemporary times, this experiment appears typically in research ethics textbooks as an exemplar of how not to proceed in scientific studies of people. Tuskegee is infamous because of the ethical abuse of the participants, which culminated in mortality, impaired health, and other significantly negative outcomes for the men and ...

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