Tuskegee Info for Lists

Joan Echtenkamp Klein jre at uva.pcmail.virginia.edu
Fri Feb 4 17:07:59 EST 1994


[POSTED TO CADUCEUS, EXLIBRIS, ARCHIVES; PLEASE CROSS-POST TO OTHER
RELEVANT LISTS. --jek]


DOING BAD IN THE NAME OF GOOD?:  THE TUSKEGEE SYPHILIS STUDY AND ITS
LEGACY

A SYMPOSIUM SPONSORED BY THE CLAUDE MOORE HEALTH SCIENCES LIBRARY'S
HISTORY OF THE HEALTH SCIENCES LECTURE SERIES, THE MEDICAL CENTER
HOUR, THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER CONTINUING
MEDICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM, AND THE VIRGINIA FOUNDATION FOR THE
HUMANITIES AND PUBLIC POLICY

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 1994, 1:00-6:30 P.M.

MCLEOD HALL AUDITORIUM

      The United States government in 1932 promised four hundred men - all
residents of Macon County, Alabama, all poor, and all African-American - free
treatment for "bad blood," a euphemism for syphilis which was epidemic in the
county.  In fact, treatment was withheld from these men, who became unwitting
subjects for a government-sanctioned medical investigation, The Tuskegee
Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male, which continued for four
decades, until 1972.  The United States Public Health Service was interested
in using Macon County and its inhabitants as a laboratory for studying the
long-term effects of untreated syphilis, not in treating this deadly and
debilitating disease.

      The Tuskegee Study has come, for many, to symbolize medical misconduct
and the blatant disregard for human rights in the name of science.  Newspaper
accounts concerning the recent revelations of radiation experimentation
conducted by scientists  on unsuspecting subjects draw parallels with the
Tuskegee Study. Yet, the Study's architects were not mad scientists, working
alone in a dark basement; rather, they were government physicians, respected
men of science, who published reports on the Study in the leading medical
journals.   The Study's subjects, conversely, bear witness to the premise
that the burden of medical experimentation has historically been borne by
those least able to protect themselves.

      Therefore, the Tuskegee Study raises many issues relevant to the
present.  These contemporary concerns include informed consent, human rights,
civil rights, inequities between the care given minority populations and
other Americans, trust, ethics, and the potential costs of medical
experimentation in the name of science.

      The symposium, Doing Bad in the Name of Good?:  The Tuskegee Syphilis
Study and Its Legacy, supported in part by the Virginia Foundation for the
Humanities and Public Policy, will provide a forum to interpret the past,
understand the present, and explore the future within the context of the
humanities.  The facts of the Tuskegee Study afford a platform from which to
apply historical perspectives to current problems, to search for the truth,
to acquire some measure of understanding the cultural differences concerning
perceptions of the health care system, to debate right and wrong, and to
discuss the appropriate intersection of scientific research and human rights.
   
      The symposium speakers will be:

       James Jones, Ph.D., Professor of History at the University of Houston,
and author of Bad Blood (New York: Free Press, 1993); 

      Vanessa Northington Gamble, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor in the
Departments of the History of Medicine, Preventive Medicine, and Family
Medicine at the University of Wisconsin; 

      Susan M. Reverby, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair of Women's
Studies at Wellesley College; 

      Patricia A. Sullivan, Assistant Director for the Center for the Study
of Civil Rights at the Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of
Virginia;

      John C. Fletcher, Director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics at the
University of Virginia Health Sciences Center; 

      Paul A. Lombardo, Director of the Mental Health Law Training and
Research Center of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy at the
University of Virginia; and 

      Gertrude Fraser, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University
of Virginia.

      The film, Bad Blood (London: Diverse Production Limited, 1992), which
provides context for the Tuskegee Study and effectively uses interviews of
participants, will also be screened.

      Doing Bad in the Name of Good?:  The Tuskegee Syphilis Study and Its
Legacy symposium is free and open to the public.  Advance registration is
encouraged.  For further information or to register, please contact Joan
Echtenkamp Klein, Assistant Director for Historical Collections and Services,
Health Sciences Library, Box 234, University of Virginia Health Sciences
Center, Charlottesville, VA 22908; (Voice) 804-924-0052; (Fax) 804-924-0379;
(Internet) jre at virginia.edu.

      Thanks to the following sponsors for additional support:  Vice
President and Provost for Health Sciences, Dean of the School of Medicine,
Dean of the School of Nursing, the President's Office, and the Carter G.
Woodson Institute for Afro-American and African Studies.


Joan Echtenkamp Klein
Assistant Director for Historical Collections and Services
Health Sciences Library, Box 234
University of Virginia Health Sciences Center
Charlottesville, VA  22908
(Voice)  804-924-0052; (Fax) 804-924-0379; (Internet) jre at virginia.edu



--
Mark Mones, emm4t at Virginia.EDU               *
University Of Virginia                        *
"Prejudice is only cowardice                 * *
 in the face of complexity" -- Jay Lemke.   *   *



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