Essay about The Deplorable Treatment of African Americans in Medical Research

Essay about The Deplorable Treatment of African Americans in Medical Research

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Medical research in the United States has a disgraceful history of exploitative studies in which African Americans were targets of abuse in the name of medical and scientific progress. African Americans have been used as the testing ground for drugs, treatments, and procedures since the time of slavery. The tolerance of the human frame and the endurance of the soul have been pushed to the limit in many of these experiments. From the physical demands on plantation work and the torturous treatment of slavery to the mental anguish inflicted on a slave’s soul by their masters, blacks have received deplorable treatment sanctioned by a white society. The end of slavery and the ushering in of the twenty first century did not end the torturous treatment and mental abuse. African Americans have been used for medical experimentation without consent for decades. Ironically they are treated as inferior and often given fewer rights than others, but amazingly their cells and bodies are treated as equals in laboratories for medical research, the results of which can save, extend and enhance the lives of others. Although color lines that are drawn in many aspects of life and inequitable treatment doled out based on the depth of the color of one’s skin, actually astounding results from medical experimentation on African Americans has produced drugs, cures and treatments for even those who do not value people of color, leaving the question of ethics and equity hanging in the balance.
What motivated some studies on blacks in particular during the early to mid-1900 was the idea that diseases are different within different races (Geiger). Paradoxically many of the studies that were done were not for this purpose but for the advancement of medicine to...


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...a hospital." 3 April 2010. the guardian. Web. 3 April 2012. .
Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Like of Henrietta Lacks. New York: Random House, Inc., 2010. Print.
Taylor, Erica. "Little-Known Black History Fact:A Tuskegee Experiment Update." 3 March 2011. Black America Web. Web. 2 April 2012. .
Yu, Edward. "Tuskegee Syphilis Study." 12 November 2008. The Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science. Web. 2 April 2012. .
Zaitchik, Alexander. "First, do no harm (towhites)." 31 December 2006. San Francisco Chronicle. Web. 2 April 2012. .


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