PART II: Doctors Find Ways to Stop African-American Resistance to Clinical Trials
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One of history's most glaring violation of medical ethics occurred in Tuskegee, Ala. That was when federal researchers experimented on close to 400 impoverished African-American sharecroppers who suffered from syphilis. The experiments started in 1932 and lasted for 40 years. Early in the study, researchers found that penicillin was an effective treatment for the disease; yet the U.S. Public Health Service purposely withheld the treatment from its Black participants for decades. The fallout from that controversial study not only led to a total reform of medical ethics as well as an avalanche of new federal laws and regulations regarding protections for participants in clinical studies but that study and similar incidents shattered whatever trust the Black community had for such research.