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The Tuskegee Experiment: An Introduction in Ethics for Pre-Healthcare Professional Students

    Authors: Daniel Miranda Jr.1, David Jesse Sanchez1
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA 91766, and Life Sciences Department, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles, CA 90029
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 15 December 2014
    • Supplemental materials available at http://jmbe.asm.org
    • Corresponding authors. Mailing address: Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Western University of Health Sciences, 309 East Second St., Pomona, CA 91766. Phone: 909-469-8479. Fax: 909-469-5600. E-mail: dmirand00@yahoo.com or sanchezd@westernu.edu.
    • ©2014 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2014 vol. 15 no. 2 232-234. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.781
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    Abstract:

    Over the past years, professional students have had extensive exposure to clinical cases during basic science classes. With this in mind, we have taken this clinical case exposure moment to be an opportune time to introduce the ethics of working with patients during biomedical research. Our goal is to present a straightforward assignment that allows for active student research into the facts of the Tuskegee Experiment of the 1900s. The assignment provides the necessary background to allow for a student-centered discussion on the ethical issues of the events and ramifications of what happened. Thus, in educating a class on the event’s happenings, one concomitantly creates a platform for meaningful discussion on the principles and ethics of patient care. We have found that an ethics-infused event such as the Tuskegee Experiment is an excellent way to introduce students to these topics.

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References & Citations

1. Coughlin SS, Etheredge GD, Metayer C, Martin SAJr1996Remember Tuskegee: public health student knowledge of the ethical significance of the Tuskegee Syphilis StudyAm. J. Prev. Med.1242422468874686
2. Schapiro R, Stickford-Becker AE, Foertsch JA, Remington PL, Seibert CS2011Integrative cases for preclinical medical students: connecting clinical, basic science, and public health approachesAm J Prev Med414 Suppl 3S187S19210.1016/j.amepre.2011.06.00421961663 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2011.06.004
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.781
2014-12-15
2017-09-26

Abstract:

Over the past years, professional students have had extensive exposure to clinical cases during basic science classes. With this in mind, we have taken this clinical case exposure moment to be an opportune time to introduce the ethics of working with patients during biomedical research. Our goal is to present a straightforward assignment that allows for active student research into the facts of the Tuskegee Experiment of the 1900s. The assignment provides the necessary background to allow for a student-centered discussion on the ethical issues of the events and ramifications of what happened. Thus, in educating a class on the event’s happenings, one concomitantly creates a platform for meaningful discussion on the principles and ethics of patient care. We have found that an ethics-infused event such as the Tuskegee Experiment is an excellent way to introduce students to these topics.

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