Science, Morals and Ethics

From 1932-1972, the US through its Public Health Service (PHS) conducted a study of the effects of untreated syphilis on African American men in Macon County, Alabama. 399 African American men with syphilis were observed, while 201 free of the disease were used as “controls.” The infected men we left untreated because the scientists wanted to observe the complications that occur during the final stage of the disease. The families of those participating in the experiment were promised $50 for their funerals. This experiment was known as “The Tuskegee Study.” James Jones in a book entitled Bad Blood said: “The Tuskegee Experiment had nothing to do with treatment.” And Marimba Ani in Yurugu added: “No new drugs were developed or tested! No old drugs were evaluated! Diseased patients were diagnosed by physicians and then not treated so that their condition could deteriorate, leading, in most cases, to untimely deaths.”

Since September 2004, an American laboratory called Gilead has been testing a preventive medication for HIV/AIDS called Viread (or Viread DF) in Cameroon. They hired and paid a man 800,000 dollars to recruit young and uninformed Cameroonian girls to serve as laboratory rats. They promised to pay 4 Euros -approximately 5 dollars- per month to every girl who will be infected.

Officially, 400 young and uneducated girls were recruited. After being contaminated by the virus, they were simply abandoned by the laboratory officials who promised to take care of them.

An officer of the Ministry of Health unabashedly said that his position has been created because of the existence of that American Lab, therefore, there was nothing he could do to remedy the situation.

Currently, more cases of such experiments are taking place in many developing countries.

Should life be sacrificed for science? Or more accurately, should people whose lives are considered lesser than be sacrificed for science?

 

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