Were Tuskegee and Willowbrook 'Studies in Nature'?
Rothman, David J.
Hastings Center Report. 1982 Apr; 12(2): 5-7.
The author examines and rejects the claims of researchers involved in two well-known studies, the Tuskegee study of untreated syphilis in poor blacks and the Willowbrook experiments with hepatitis in institutionalized retarded children, that these were "studies in nature" in which the researchers were only passive observers of a natural phenomenon. He further argues that the research designs were unethical and that, in attempting to take advantage of conditions of overwhelming social deprivation, the researchers incurred an obligation to attempt to relieve the sufferings of their subjects. (KIE abstract)
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