From the Instructor
In WR 150 we explore the history of human subject protection in health research, beginning with the infamous Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis. The revelation of this 40-year non-therapeutic study of 400 African American sharecroppers prompted a critically needed overhaul of federal guidelines for health research. These reforms, however, do not extend to health studies conducted outside the United States, prompting some bioethicists to charge that clinical trials undertaken in developing countries, where there is poor or absent medical care, constitute the new “Tuskegee.” Kim Clark tackles these assertions by positioning the Tuskegee study as the reference point for an examination of such research, refuting the charge of exploitation and, further, identifying research benefits.
— MELANIE SMITH