A Look at the “Tuskegee Effect” Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Ethically Speaking.net | Tuskegee Effect” Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
9 Apr

A Look at the “Tuskegee Effect” Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Medical mistrust has been pervasive throughout the Black community since slavery.

And rightfully so.

In the mist of America’s most flagrant crime known as Black American enslavement, Black Americans were unwilling subjects to exploitative medical experiments. Even after slavery, countless medical experiments continued to be held on Black Americans without their consent. The most well-known of these cases is known as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. As a result of the negative outcomes of this experiment, medical mistrust rapidly increased among Black Americans. Black Americans knew that America’s health care system could not be trusted.

The negative backlash from the Tuskegee Syphilis Study popularly became known as the “Tuskegee Effect”, which is a collective memory of how U.S. Public Health Service officials deceived Black male participants in the study. The syphilis study triggered a heightened unwillingness of Blacks to participate in U. S. clinical trials. Unfortunately, sentiments of the past have come to the forefront once again. Although medical experts have claimed that a “disproportionate number” of Black Americans have died as a result of COVID-19, most Black Americans say they will not participate in clinical trials that could possibly identify a cure for the disease.

In the last few days, U.S. Public Health officials have been encouraging Black American COVID-19 carriers to participate in clinical trials involving the drug, hydroxychloroquine, which has often been used to treat malaria. The National Institutes of Health recently announced that clinical trials will now take place to determine whether the drug is safe and effective in the treatment of COVID-19. But many Black Americans are not convinced that they should even participate in this clinical trial because of past unethical clinical trials such as Tuskegee.

I, for one, would not participate in any clinical trial that involves such high-risk factors as death. One’s own life is more valuable than the results of a clinical trial. These health officials are essentially gambling with your life when they conduct clinical trials because they do not know the experiment’s end results. I believe that Black Americans are rightfully skeptical about participating in COVID-19 clinical trials because when it is said and done, the risk that one takes is greater than the good one provides to humanity.

What do you think?

Share your thoughts with us below.

Dr. Woodson says:

Warning: The authorities are finally acknowledging that the infection rate among blacks may be based in part upon the fact that we hold a lot of the essential jobs which increases our exposure and now they also acknowledge that these recently reported racial statistics are based on only 1/4th of the total infected cases because race has only been reported in 1/4th of the total cases. So please continue to use care but don’t get tricked into experimental testing of our community on the basis of incomplete reports suggesting that we are disproportionately impacted.

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