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Medical Experimentation on African Americans

In: Social Issues

Submitted By katlaw
Words 1628
Pages 7
Medical Experimentation on African Americans
Katryna A. Lawson
Montgomery College

Abstract
This research paper is going to review some of the horrific ways that African Americans were abused by medical research experiments in the United States. I will also examine how America’s physicians has a disgraceful history of exploitative studies in which African Americans have been used as objects, for new surgical techniques, drug testing, nuclear radiation absorption, biased psychological testing, sterilization, and cadavers all in the name of medical science since the time of slavery.

Medical experimentation on African Americans began during the time of slavery. The South was home to 90 percent of American blacks, in some states, the black population was completely comprised of slaves: Alabama, for example, forbade the presence of free blacks. Since there was so many slaves, this also made the south a haven for the lowest of the low, worst kind of medical experiments on African Americans. Harriet A. Washington, author of the book Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black American from Colonial time to the Present, cites many of the atrocious acts that the Black Americans experienced through telling personal stories like those of slave women, giving faces to many of the black victims of violent medical experimentation and racially biased investigations, while also revealing the doctors inflicting the abuse. Doctors tortured and abused African American subjects to further scientific knowledge and propagate racist, social and economic motives. The historical events Washington catalogues extend from the time of slavery to the present day. “There were subjects that were given experimental vaccines known to have unacceptably high lethality, enrolled in experiments without their consent or knowledge, subjected to surreptitious surgical and...

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