Under the Shadow of Tuskegee: African Americans and Health Care

Under the Shadow of Tuskegee: African Americans and Health Care

A long shadow of relationship on the contemporary relationship between African Americans and the biomedical community has been continued to be cast by the Tuskegee Syphilis study (Gamble, 1997). Other researches have discovered that this Tuskegee Syphilis study has precisely contributed to many African Americans to continue to distrust the institutions of public and medical health. The entire article precisely places a Syphilis study within a broader social and historical context with the aim of demonstrating how distinct factors have influenced and have continued to influence the African American’s attitude towards the biomedical community.

The article begins by describing the presidential apologies on the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. The article continues to shadow cast the syphilis study on the efforts to improve the health status of black Americans. According to the article many black Americans usually fear to be exploiters by the medical profession date back to the antebellum m period and the precise use of free black people and slaves as the main subjects for medical experimentation and dissertation(Gamble, 1997).

The article provides a precise exploration after the civil war. According to the article, it is not well known the extent to which African American continued to be utilized as unwilling subjects of experimentation(Gamble, 1997). The greater examination of African American folklore at theturn of the century precisely indicated that most African American believed that such practices persisted. After several interviews were conducted, it was discovered that many African Americans were in fears that the night doctors’ could kidnap them and use them for Medical Experimentation. However, Fry never found any documented evidence of the existence of night riders.  According to fry, the belief of the existence of night doctors was fostered to the minds of many African Americans by their experience as victims of medical experimental during slavery(Gamble, 1997). The article further speculates the need for colleagues to engage in research in the efforts of protecting black patients.

The article goes further to explore the fear of Genocide in which the article provides three historical examples that help depict that African Americans’ distrust of medical profession had a longer history than the public revelations of the Tuskegee Syphilis study. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study has come to emerge to be the most prominent example of medical racisms since it preciously confirms the deeply entranced and long-lived beliefs that exists within the black community(Gamble, 1997). Most of the black Americans precisely agreed with the charge of the study that was presented that is, “nothing less than an official, premeditated policy of genocide.” The article speculated that the allegation of genocide against the medical profession and the government had been launched several times. According to the article, links have been made between genocide, AIDS, and Tuskegee in the past recent years. Most of the back Americans precisely believe that the Tuskegee Syphilis Study as precise evidence of the support towards the views of genocide since they believed that all the men ion the study were injected with syphilis. The author went further to point out that Black life was not much valued as white life or any other life in America(Gamble, 1997).

The article went further to discuss the concept of “Not just paranoia” in which the author depicted that African Americans precisely believed that their lives are much devalued by the white society as well as their relationship with the medical profession. The article gets into conclusion by a precise description of Beyond Tuskegee in which the author points out that there is a growing body of medical research that vividly gives an illustration as to why the discussion of the precise relationship between the medical profession and the African Americans should go beyond the TuskegeeSyphilisStudy(Gamble, 1997). The rescues try to raise some critical question about the role of racism in medical decision making as well as giving some demonstrations of racial inequalities. The article concludes by postulation that we must not face the problem of just the shadow of the Tuskegee but in real sense the problem that we all need to face is that of the shadow of racism that so profoundly brings more significant impact to the beliefs and lives of people in the entire country (Gamble, 1997).




Gamble, V. N. (1997). Under the shadow of Tuskegee: African Americans and health care. American journal of public health, 87(11), 1773-1778.

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