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Tuskegee Syphillis Study and Johns Hopkins Lead Paint Research - Essay Example

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Tuskegee Syphillis Study and Johns Hopkins Lead Paint Research

Tuskegee Syphillis study and Johns Hopkins lead paint research are some of the controversial medical researches conducted in the past without taking permission from the subjects. This paper critically analyses these two studies. Tuskegee Syphillis study was arguably the most infamous medical study conducted in the history of American medical science. This controversial clinical study was conducted over a period of 40 years, between 1932 and 1972. It was conducted by American public health department at Alabama to learn more about the spreading of syphilis disease among poor people. This study became controversial since the authorities hide the actual objectives of this study from the subjects. The patients thought that they may get free treatments from the government and cooperated fully with the researchers. By the time the study was exposed in 1972 and ended on November 16th of the same year, 28 men had died of syphilis, 100 others were dead due to syphilis related complications, at least 40 wives had been infected and 19 children had contracted the disease at birth. On July 23rd, eight months after the Tuskegee syphilis study was abandoned, a $1.8 billion class action suit was filed against the institutions and individuals involved. Prominent civil rights lawyer, Fred Gray, demanded $3 million in damages for each living participant and the heirs of the deceased. The case, however, never came to trial and in December 1974 and out of court settlement was made. The government agreed to the distribution of $10 million, whereby each survivor received $37,500 in damages and the heirs of the deceased received $15,000 (Tuskegee Syphilis Study) Johns Hopkins lead paint research was another controversial medical research which was identical to the Tuskegee Syphillis study. It was conducted in the world famous John Hopkins University in 1990’s to test “how well different levels of repair in Baltimore rental housing worked to reduce lead in the blood of inner-city children”(Lewin). This study became controversial following the death of a healthy young volunteer in June 2001. The John Hopkins University researchers failed to warn the subjects about the possible threats of this study and the danger this study could cause to the subjects. This study forced healthy children to live in potentially dangerous housing and many of the children who were utilized by the researchers later developed health problems like asthma, lung diseases, breathing problems etc. The researchers argued that they have taken the consent of the parents for using their children for this study. However, it should be noted that “neither researchers nor parents, have the legal right to put healthy children into a study that offers them no benefit and carries real hazards. Children who ingest lead can suffer brain damage” (Lewin). The study, which ran from 1993 to 1995, was conducted in 100 homes contaminated with lead paint. In Baltimore city more than 100000 homes have lead paint and over 4000 children annually test positive for raised serum lead levels. The aim of the study was to find a cheaper and less hazardous way of removing lead paint than stripping the paint off the walls. The work was funded largely by a government grant (Josefson) In both of the above mentioned medical research cases, the researchers never bothered much in ...Show more
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Summary

Name of author: Tuskegee Syphillis study and Johns Hopkins lead paint research So many researches are going on in the field of medical science in order to find out solutions for preventing some epidemic diseases. In most of the cases, researchers often inform the subjects or the patients about the nature of their study and the intentions or objectives of the research…
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