Monday, 15 May 2017

Justice for family of "racist" syphilis study

For 40 years starting in 1932, medical workers in the segregated South withheld treatment for unsuspecting men infected with a sexually transmitted disease simply so doctors could track the ravages of the horrid illness and dissect their bodies afterward.

The men were persuaded to participate by promises of:
free transportation to and from hospitals,
free hot lunches,
free medical treatment for ailments other than syphilis and
a free burial

Finally exposed in 1972, the study ended and the men sued, resulting in a $9 million settlement. Twenty years ago this May, President Bill Clinton apologized for the U.S. government. It seemed to mark the end of this ugly episode, once and for all. Except it didn't.
Relatives of the men still struggle with the stigma of being linked to the experiment, commonly known today as the 'Tuskegee Syphilis Study'.
For years they have met privately to share their pain and honor the victims.
And, amazingly, that class-action lawsuit filed by the men in 1973 has outlived them all. The litigation continues to this day, with a federal court currently considering a request that will help determine the study's final legacy.
A key, unanswered question: What should be done with unclaimed settlement money that still sits in court-controlled accounts?
Credit: Daily Mail


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