Medical EthicsConsider the following situation and write a summary of your opinion, framed around the reflection questions listed below:If you were to ask Americans about the ethics of the German medical experiments performed on Jews during the Holocaust, they would (rightfully so) be appalled. Yet from 1932 to 1972, 400 African-American males in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study were denied treatment for syphilis and lied to by their health care providers in order to obtain information about the long-term effects of the untreated disease. Penicillin, a proven cure, became available in the 1950s but participants were denied treatment.A similar example of withholding treatment is seen in that, although AZT is effective at reducing the advance of AIDS symptoms, it is expensive. Rather than providing AZT, companies are searching for less expensive treatments for indigent women in developing countries.Reflection questions:What reasons might explain the inconsistencies in these behaviors?Given that the experiments performed in the concentration camps were fatal, how does this affect your opinion?How do you feel about the concept that withholding treatment is different from actually causing harm?Do you think these examples involve people infected with STIs the outcome has been different from what happened during the Holocaust?Do you think the race of the individuals was a factor? Why or why not?
CFS 259 Medical Ethics – If you were to ask Americans
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