Parties Involved: United States Government, Tuskegee Institute
The U.S. Government has already proven it is willing to use its own people to do some horrific things. Yet one stands out above them all. In fact, the United Nations claims it is a human rights violation. Studies on humans can be controversial, but this specific study led to the nationwide outbreak of a very dangerous disease. Beginning in 1932, the U.S. Public Health Service began working with the Tuskegee Institute to track the natural progression of syphilis. They decided to go to Macon County, Alabama, where they were able to find 600 poor, illiterate, male sharecroppers (all being black).
Of the 600 men they found, 399 had previously contracted syphilis. However, none were told they had it. Instead, they were told they would be getting free healthcare, meals, and even burial insurance for participating in this unknown study. Even when we found that penicillin was a cure for syphilis in 1947, the Health Service continued their study up to 1972 on these men. Unsurprisingly, many of their wives contracted the disease and several of their children were born with congenital syphilis. It is by far the worst thing (outside of slavery & war) that we’ve ever done to our own people.
We all know by now how horrific the Holocaust was. It led to the deaths of over 6 million Jewish people in Germany between the 1930s to around the mid-1940s. Jewish people were often rounded up and thrown into “concentration camps” where several were simply killed. Yet one might say they were the lucky ones because some camps decided to keep Jewish men, women, and children alive. Why? Well, to do medical experiments on them obviously!
Among the experiments included forcing them to drink seawater as they found a way to make it drinkable. Yet some involved throwing Jews out of planes to see the distance one could parachute to safety. Meanwhile, some were forced into freezing conditions to test hypothermia symptoms. The Nazis also forced tested poisons on people, as well as conducted bone-grafting surgeries on some. However, others were given life-threatening diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and infectious hepatitis as a way to develop vaccines. Sadly, we only covered about 3% of the total experiments conducted.