In 1932, an organization of the United States Government called the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) began to conduct an experiment on the effects of untreated syphilis on black men in Macon County, Alabama.   The commonly used name for this study became known as The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment because the Tuskegee Institute’s affiliated hospital let the PHS use their medical facilities for the study.   The experiment involved 399 black men who were infected with syphilis and another 200 uninfected men who served as a control group.   The information for the experiment was to be gathered from the men’s autopsies, which means that the subjects used were purposely being untreated to see the last stages of syphilis.   This means that the Tuskegee study was a non-therapeutic experiment.
      The men involved in the study were mostly illiterate black sharecroppers from one of the most impoverished counties in Alabama.   Since they were very disadvantaged in life and many of them have never seen a doctor before, it made them very easy to manipulate.   The men cooperated in the study because the PHS gave them free physical examinations, free rides to and from the clinics, hot meals on examination days, and other free treatment.   Spinal taps were used to gather scientific data, but were used without anesthesia and were very painful and potentially dangerous. Still though the patients showed up thinking they were receiving special treatment.   The real nature of the study had to be kept secret from the subjects to also guarantee cooperation.   The black men were never told they had syphilis, but were informed that they were being treated for “bad blood.”
      The experiment went on for forty years and was halted early in 1972, due to the story being broken out into the press.   Jean Heller of the Associated Press wrote an article in the Washington Star discussing the experiment and her source was a man by the name of Peter Buxtun.   Buxtun was a former PHS venereal disease...