Item Details

Doing Bad in the Name of Good? The Tuskegee Syphilis Study and Its Legacy [videorecording]

sponsored by the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library [as part of its lecture series:] History of the Health Science lecture series ... [et al.]
Format
Video; VHS
Summary
Speakers from disciplines including medicine, bioethics, history, law, and anthropology give presentations and discuss the historical reality and implications of the "Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male" conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service from 1932 through 1972.
Performers
JAMES H. JONES, PH.D. (UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON): Dr. Jones is the author of Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (New York, Free Press, 1993). He provided an overview of the origins and progress of the Tuskegee Syphilis study over four decades. The interest which greeted the symposium gave credence to the 1932 statement of one of the study's creators who predicted of the study: "It will either cover us with mud or glory when completed." (Jones, Bad Blood, 1993-112).
VANESSA NORTHINGTON GAMBLE, M.D. (UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN SCHOOL OF MEDICINE): Dr. gamble spoke of the distrust many African Americans feel toward physicians, and the role the Study has played in perpetuating this problem. She stressed that this distrust is ingrained in African-American society and reinforced by oral tradition. A suspicion of the medical profession is found in urban and rural settings, in poor and affluent communities and among highly educated as well as less-educated African-Americans.
SUSAN M. REVERBY, PH.D. (WELLESLEY COLLEGE): Dr. Reverby spoke about the varied interpretations of Nurse Eunice Rivers, an African American nurse who served as a liason between government officials and the Macon County men. Without her assistance, the Study would not have been successful. There have been numerous attempts to "write Nurse Rivers," including several plays; each attempt at biography is affected by the view of the person doing the writing."
PATRICIA SULLIVAN, PH.D. (UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA): Dr. Sullivan provided an overview of the political climate of the Deep South during the last two decades of the Study, which encompassed the years of the Civil Rights movement. She noted the irony that Macon County was both the site of the Study, which relied on compliance and docility, and a center of civil rights activism.
PAUL A. LOMBARDO, J.D., PH.D. (UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER): Dr. Lombardo addressed some of the legal aspects of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, noting the parallels between it and experiements conducted on mentally deficient subjects and campaigns of forced sterilization. He related that when Peter Buxtun first tired to stop the Tuskegee experiment in the 1960s, he was coerced into silence by the Center for Disease Control. Only years later, after the story was broken by the press, did the CDC realize the possible consequences of litigation.
JOHN C. FLETCHER, PH.D. (UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA): A former bioethicist at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Fletcher addressed the institutional culture that permitted the creation and long-term pursuit of the Tuskegee Study. Fletcher argued that these organizations encourage their workers to believe that they are exempt from the rules of society at large. He drew ethical parallels between the Study and the Nuremberg trials.
GERTRUDE FRASER, PH.D. (UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA): Dr. Fraser provided an anthropological analysis of the Study and its participants. She suggested that in a rural, impoverished society such as Macon County, people would be aware of men receiving treatment, especially since this happened with regularity for decades. She also speculated that the men in the study and their families must have sensed, at some level, that they were colluding with unusual forces in their efforts to find relief from illness.
Release Date
1994
Run Time
206 min.
Language
English
Notes
  • "Sponsored by the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library History of the Health Sciences Lecture Series, the Medical Center Hour, the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center Continuing Medical Education Program, the Center for Continuing Nursing Education and Professional Development and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy"--program cover.
  • VHS format.
  • Introductory remarks by Joan E. Klein and Edward. W. Hook.
  • The film "BAD BLOOD" is an English film which was first shown on BBC and A&E. It presents interviews with survivors of the Study, physicians responsible for its oversight, and contemporary white residents of Macon County, Alabama. The interviews are interspersed with archival photographs and footage of the U.S. Public Health Service veneral disease campaigns and civil rights demonstrations.
Related Title
Tuskegee Syphilis Study and its legacy.
Contents
  • [pt.] 1. Speaker: James H. Jones (48 min.)
  • [pt.] 2. speaker: Vanessa Northington Gamble (43 min.)
  • [pt.] 3. speaker: Susan M. Reverby (35 min.)
  • [pt.] 4. Patricia Sullivan, Paul Lombardo, John Fletcher and Gertrude Fraser (80 min.)
Published
Charlottesville, Va. : University of Virginia, Division of Continuing Education, Education and Distance Learning Technologies, 1994.
Publisher no.
74679
Description
4 videocassettes (206 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. + program.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic

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    a| JAMES H. JONES, PH.D. (UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON): Dr. Jones is the author of Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (New York, Free Press, 1993). He provided an overview of the origins and progress of the Tuskegee Syphilis study over four decades. The interest which greeted the symposium gave credence to the 1932 statement of one of the study's creators who predicted of the study: "It will either cover us with mud or glory when completed." (Jones, Bad Blood, 1993-112).
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    511
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    a| SUSAN M. REVERBY, PH.D. (WELLESLEY COLLEGE): Dr. Reverby spoke about the varied interpretations of Nurse Eunice Rivers, an African American nurse who served as a liason between government officials and the Macon County men. Without her assistance, the Study would not have been successful. There have been numerous attempts to "write Nurse Rivers," including several plays; each attempt at biography is affected by the view of the person doing the writing."
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    511
    0
      
    a| PAUL A. LOMBARDO, J.D., PH.D. (UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER): Dr. Lombardo addressed some of the legal aspects of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, noting the parallels between it and experiements conducted on mentally deficient subjects and campaigns of forced sterilization. He related that when Peter Buxtun first tired to stop the Tuskegee experiment in the 1960s, he was coerced into silence by the Center for Disease Control. Only years later, after the story was broken by the press, did the CDC realize the possible consequences of litigation.
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    a| JOHN C. FLETCHER, PH.D. (UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA): A former bioethicist at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Fletcher addressed the institutional culture that permitted the creation and long-term pursuit of the Tuskegee Study. Fletcher argued that these organizations encourage their workers to believe that they are exempt from the rules of society at large. He drew ethical parallels between the Study and the Nuremberg trials.
    511
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    a| GERTRUDE FRASER, PH.D. (UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA): Dr. Fraser provided an anthropological analysis of the Study and its participants. She suggested that in a rural, impoverished society such as Macon County, people would be aware of men receiving treatment, especially since this happened with regularity for decades. She also speculated that the men in the study and their families must have sensed, at some level, that they were colluding with unusual forces in their efforts to find relief from illness.
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