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CONDEMNED

TODD
FOR SCIEI
Tuskegee syphilis experiment
allows 4 0 0 Alabama black men
to suffer without treatment
AST jiil\-, during u hot. di\'. suii-tormentcd
attcrnooii in Montgomcr)-, Ala., Charlie
WfsU'V Pollard, a 66-y('ar-ol(l fiinncr from nearby Nota.sulga, was greeted with the news that
he had a venereal disease. He was not seated in
a doetoi's ofrk-e \\hfn lie became privy to this
iiilormatii)n, and he was not anywhere near
a city health clinic. He was standing inside
Montgomery's Hooper Stotkvards amid hundreds of cattle, some of \\ hich he had nst .sold,
\\hen a young white woman, whom he did not
know and whose name he has since forgotten,
itpproaclu'd him, introduced herself as a reixirter from a local newspaper and proceeded
to inform him that he, Charlie Pollard, had
syphilis. Listening to this woman who may
have seemed like an unstable soothsayer or
clairvoyant, PoUaid simply stood there, in silence, while she went on to t<'ll him that he
had liad syphilis for at least 40 years and that
since the onset of a 1932 U. S. Pttblic Health
Service experiment his l)ody had been nsed
in the name of uii'dical science, used as one
might nse a guinea pig or any of tliose cattle
now being nnloiid<'d from his truck.
Pollard is a res<'r\ ed. wry patient. \'ery polite man, a man whose most striking eharacteristie embodies a gn-at gentleness, so it never
occurred to him to become angr\\ ignore what
he had just heard or perhaps nshcr this strange,
apparently mad \\'oman ont of his way. Besides, she spoke with some knowledge, since
for more years than he could remember he had
indeed l>een undergoing medical examinatiitns
at \arious intc-rvals by tcains of men who
called themselves "government doctors."
"You ain't got nobody's name but mine??"

Charlie Pollardi 66, a fanner livinj^ iivar


Tuskegee, Ala., is one of 74 survivors of an
experiment in which 40() black men were (leliberutcly N-ft without treatment for .syphilis.

BY JACK SLATER
Cenfiniierf on Next

CONDEMNED TO DIE
hf filially iiskt'd her, thinking of the st-ores of
othtT men, sonit? of them his own acqiuiintancrs. who had undtTgone those .same exaniinalious. Did tliis woman want him to become
a part of anothi-r mcdiciil study? Was that it?
"Ycis," she answered. "Yours is the only name
I've got."
"When- (lid you get niy name?"
Shi' hcsitiitcd only for :i moment. "From
Washinjiton."
She apparently had come to get a story, to
find ont. among other things, if ll the publie
health offieials had eAcr told him they were
condueting a syphilis experiment on him and
2) if he had e\er signed an informed eonsent
release form permitting the government to eon-

tluit, at that iiioment \\ ith the newspaper in


his hand, he touUl OHIN tliink of the \\'ord
"ridienlous." "Hidieiilous. It's Hdienlous," he
kept repeating to himself. o\er and o\'er. Then
taking the newspaper with him, Pollard struggled out of Jii.s eliair and went to eat supper
with his \\ ife.

HEY were tryini; to determineor so they


saidlio\\ thi? eonrse of untreated syphilis
affected the human bodyhow the disease ad\aneecl into the eentral ner\-ous system to render the limbs usele.ss or hring about insanity,
exaetly how it deformed the bones and teeth,
attacked the heart, ears and eyes, and ultimately eau.sed an early eoronary, earl)' deafness and

port of the Medical Clinics of North Ameiiea,


"was there a more unique opportimity to learn
what happi-ns when i-urly .syphilis goes imtreated than from the files of Professor loeek
of Oslo, Norway."
Apparently. howe\'er. the eonthisions ul the
Oslo Study did not suit the neeils of the ft>uiiders of the Tuskegee project. "In the medical
circles of the 193()s there was a great deal ol
controversy alioiit how syphilis affeeted blaeks
and whites," ,says Dr. Donald Print/, assistant
ehief of the venereal disease brancli at CDC,

^2^

Dr, Donald Printz, i.ssistunl cliR't oF


\'D Imuicli Ht C'entcr fur DisuastC(mtiol; "I (li)iit iiiitk"r.stantl why
piiticiits wtTfii't treated after penitilliii Ijc'camc uvitilablc in I94."

Dr. Vernal Cave, cliicf iiu<'sli;iator


of Tiiskeiice Study for Nationul
ical A.ss(K'iiition: "Wliy did PuliHc
Health Service selpct only blat-ls as
subjects for the Tuskegee Stiid>':*"

(liict its experinu-nt on him. Pollard answered


"No" to both in(|uiries.
The\' talketl a little longer, still surrounded
l)y the eattle and tlie Alabama dust and the
heat whieli wa.s leaehing migraine ICNCI. Finally. lioM'e\'<'r. Pollar<l leit the \onng \\omim and
dro\e the 40 miles to his 50i)-aeie farm near
Tn^kegi-e. He was disturbed and frunkU' lie
still did not believe anything he hatl ju.st heard
di<ln't beiiove it until he arrived home and
unfolded tlie alternnon newspaper, whieh told
him in<ire than he eonld wish to belie\e.
U A S I I I N ; I ON. July 25 ( APj-For 40 years ,.
the U. S. Pubhf H(;altli S(T\'ict' has tomliictcd a
study II which liiuiian ^^uinea pi^s. donicd
proper meilieiil tre;i[incnt, have died iif syphilis
and its si<tt* effects.
Tlic study was ci>iidiicte<l to dettmiim- from
aiitop.sies what the cliseast- does to tlie liniiian
body. . . .
'liie experiineot, allied the Tiiskeee Study,
begun in 1932 with about fiOt) black iiieii, iiuwtly
poor and uiiedncale{l, fmiii 'I iisko[ii'\ .Ma., an
an*ii tbat Iiad tin; liighest syphilis nc in the nation at the lime.
One-third nf tlic yroiip was free of syphilis:
tvvn-thirds sliDwed evidence of ihe di.sense. , . .
rhe Tiiskejit'c Shidy beyan 10 ytiars before
['uieilliii was dtsfovered to IK- a cure for syphilis. , . . Yet even after peiiieillin hceame eoniinoii. and while its U-si- proliably eotild have
Iielpi'd or Siived a number of (he e\perinit'iit
subjects, tlie driiii was ileiiit'd them. . . .

The Sim was going down by now, and a


kind of .\Iiee-in-Wonderland air of unreality
anived with the dusk. Later, mueh later,
Charlie Pollard would tell another reporter
178

Dr. J. 0. Millar, cliir of \'U brancli


at Ctrntt'V fcir Discaw (Control: ",As
far as ypnocult^ is font'crnt'd, f doii'l:
think the Tuskesee Study delilm-ratcly >el til lo hami or kill people."

premature blindness. It was to IK* a scientific


experiment. And they, tlie ofReials in the U. S.
Publie Health Ser\iee. wanted, in tlie fall of
1932, to study the manner in uliieli syphilis
caused death.
O eomse, tlie physicians \\ho originated the
Tuskegee Study dithi't explain their purpose in
sueh ghoulish terms, didn t say tliey wanted to
watch death or obser\-e for seii-nee the s>plii!itic decline of black men. They did mention
in a 19.'3fi pro^ress report that "tlie infeeted
Negro po)ulation . . . seenutl lo oHer an unusual opportunity to study . . . the di.sease to
the death of the inlVeted pi-rson." But for the
most part any tacit liints o\ racial eallon.snes.s
were banished from their published stat<'mei)ts
to gi\ e w ay t) the nentrul. obieeti\c. rea.soniible
language of science; "Because of the laek of
knowledge of the pathogenesis of .syphili.s."
says a recent background piiper b\" the PHS
Center for Di.sease Control iCDC) in Atlanta,
"a long-term study of untreated syphilis was
considered desirable in e.stablishiiig a more
knowledgeable syphilis control program."
All of which, it should be stressed, may indeed ha\'e been true. Yet, it didn't seem to
matter that scientists even then, in the fall of
19.'32. alreacU' knew how the untreated syphilis
germ affected the liuman body, already knew
the precise "pathogenesis of syphilis" from
data olitained from itii earlier Oslo (Norway)
Study in whieh treatment had been withheld
from 1,976 syihilities during thi' 20-year period
between 1891 and 1910.
"Nowhere in the world," states a 1964 re-

Dr. J. W. WilliatnSi an itit<iii in Tnskeyie II) jear.s aj;i)


wlien syphilis study Iiejiau: "I wiLsn't briefc-d ns to
what tlie stndy was. . . . M'licn reports from llu' iilixid
samples caiiie hack fniin tlie state lalioralory, I lu-vrr
.Siiw llicni. I didn't kiuiw who was or wasn't n-aetive."

whieh snpervi.ses what remains of the Tuskegee Study. Dr. Print/ was eiting tlie coTihnversy partly beeanse he fell it may have been
one of the justifieatiuus for initiating the Tiis
kei;ee pioji el. "With whites there tetided to be
a liiueh higher nite.of syphilitic insanity," he
says, "whereas that complication was very raie
in bla<-ks. On the other hand, the rate of heart
di.siase [due to sxpliilis] seinied to be higliei
in blacks than in whites."
According to otlu r \D specialists, however,
the Printz statement iias little or no basis in
faet. "The presumed mamier in \vhich syphilis
aflects blacks and whites has been in ihe literatinv lor years, and Irankly I have never seen
it properly doeniuented, ' declares l^r. Venial
C Cave, the Ijlaek director ol New York's Bureau of Venereal I^isease C-ontrol. "'And e\'en
if it were true, even if l)Iacks diti have a higlu r
rate of syphilitie lieait disea.se, what the hell
diflerence \\()uld it make? Yon don t begin that
kind of stud>' lo piek up a crumb.'"
HATEX'EK the real reuson. wliether for
W seienee
or hecan.se of .some unspeakable indiHerence to human sulerng, tlie Tnskegee
Study did beginif only for a crumb, Whether
a few medicut seientists wanted sincereU' to
diimuish the Tnskegee area's high sypliilis rate
or whether the>" wished (as one physieian suggests) to outdt) the Oslo Studywiiatev er the
reasonthe fact remains that 28 blaek men, and
perhaps as many as 100 or more in the study,
have died tlirtetly as a result of untreated
syphilis, while 154 have dii'd of the disease's
Continued on Page 18f

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CONDEMNED TO DIE
side cih'fts. Tli(_' 74 known sur\'ivors, liicltidiiig r^ciUard, have n lati'iit, inm-coiiiiiuMii-

Tuskegee neighbors Anita Lfiuianl ( 1. ) and Sally FuhiiiMiiL i\pkiiii they vvfff ^liockt'd nt ttisulosiircs siirrijiMitliiif Tuskt-yctt syphilis exiwrimt'iit, "Thf study
shows tliJt hhiek people have bet'ii fooled tiiice aj;iin, "
suyi Mrs. Leiinard. "There's nothing to say," Miss
Rni>iiTsnn adiK "trxcvpt that the study is

180

cablo fonn of the disease, which is now considered "dciid" and non-inf-tiouy.
TIK' study bfgaii, ironically, during ihc same
yfiir Adolf Hitler, who \\ould soon initiate his
own "t'xpt'rinients" in the iiauic of medic:il seieucf. rose lo lowcr. In tact, it was Hitler's misuse of humans as gimiea pigs which led in 1946
to tlic i'stahlishnu nt of the Nuremberg Code,
a scries of ethical guitlclines meant to l)t' upplied world-wide to all human exj^erimentations, including those then and now being perioinu'd in the Tuskegee project.
The proiect got under way with recruitment
dn'\'es in pri\ ate hotnes. community stores and
in various churclii's after Snnda\' morning
sen'ices in Tuskegee aud througliout the surromuling back country of Macon County,
\A here the high rate of syphilis was due to the
area's general lack of health care facilities.
Unemployed, poor and made i>oorer by a
de\astating Depression, the recruits were
tempted by the PHS offer of free hot lunches,
free luedical care aud free burial .service.
("Often it was the 'only insurance' they could
hopi- for," said public health nurse Eunice
Rivers in a 1953 report. ) And so they came,
more than 1,700 of them, from the decaying
plantations of the ct)nnt\-, from the tenant
farms and the ceonomieally unstable hamlets
of Shorters, Harda\\ay, Sambo, Notasulga,

Chesson, Liverpool. Millstead. ('cilto\\ns


(some of them \anislicd no\\) in whieh a tcinii
of government doctors and nurses foiinally
initiated tlie study by s<-Ieetiiig blood siunples
trom a raiidfjin 1,7S2 blacl; males wlio wi-rc 2")
to 70 years old.
Of the 1,7H2. some 400 uien who bad syphilis
were chosen to gu uutreated, while amitlier 2i)I
who were free of the disease were selected
to be the control gronp.
"I wa.sn't briefetl, even as a tloctor. a.s to
what tlie purpose of the study wa.s." says Dr.
J. \V. Williauis. 73. a blaek Tiiskegc*- pbysii ian
who was an intern at the local Jolm A. Andrews Ho.spital when the proj<'ct began. Dr.
Williams, then .33, was asked by his superiors
at the hospital to assist the ne\\'ly urrivi*d public
health doctors "in whatexcr duties they would
reijuire," Those dutie,s he says, "consisted nl
selecting l)lood samples and lat(T injecting
some of those patients with what I tlionght was
neo-arsphenaniine [the mereury-arscnie em]>ound used at the time to combat syphilis].
Now, in retrosix'ct, 1 .souietiines think the in
jt^'tions 1 gave tnay have bc?en a placcljo [a
substance administered purely for its psx'eliological benefit], lint I cant be certahi," Oi.
Williams admits.
Did he ever at any time become a\\;Mc that
the patients were not receiving t rea tint lit':*
"When tbe reiwits from tiie blood samplis
came back froin the state laboratoi\' iu Vfont-

goinery, 1 never saw them," recalls Dr. Williams, who stayed with the study for only a
i<w iiionths. "I didn't know who was reactive
and who wasn't."
Kunice Iii\ers. liowe\er. apparently did
know. As the public health liurse for the Tuskegee Study from its inception, Miss Rivers,
\\hi> is blaek, ha<l broad contact with the patients and, as she also states in her article
in Pnblic Health Reports (April 1953). "was
thoroughly familiar with their local ideas and
t nstoiiis."

n'oday Miss Rivers is retired, bnt in 1932


and (hiring the later years of the study she
ser\ed as a liaison lictwecn "the government
doctor" and the "government patient," trans])orling recruits to and from exaniinatiori.s and
lollowing np the patients after the plnsicians
retnrned to Washington.
Miss Rivers' article is, therefore, worth ([uoting at li-ngth, paitK' lii-eause it reveals a partieularly condescending attitu<le the PHS
physicians held toward their black patients and
partly because it exposes the extent t( which
Miss Rivers, like her patients, was uuknowingly and tragically used. Here is her account of
what the project was really about:
.\ inost iiiiport;iiit phase of tlir stinK as to
follow as muny piitieiits as possihif to postiimrteiii evmiiination, tii order to dctcniiiiie the
]rfvalence iind se\t'rity of the syphilitic dse;Lsc
liiHCss. Codpcrutioii of i^atients with tl iis plan
was s.mylit Ity oircriii!- Imruil as.sistancf (throiijih
;t private pliilantluopy. the Ntilbank Mniioriiil
Oil coiidilioii tliat pKimissiuii he (ranted

foi- aot(tps\\ t-^ir tlic niaioiity of these poor farnit-rs, sufli fiiianuiiil aid was i real boon. , . . Tho
I'Vtlfral Govcmineiit oHerfil physical '\aniiiiatioiis and incidental iiudiLatioii, such as tonics
and riialgfsics, but was unable to pro%'i(e Hnaiilial assi.staiiee on a continnini; li.sis. The Milbaok Memorial Fund burial assistance made it
p(.ssii)le to obtain a higher pcrcentae of permissions for post-mortem t \aiiiination.s tluin
otherwise would have been granted.

Speakiug of herself in the third person, Miss


Rivers now describes the men a.s she transports them to and from medical examinations:
Later, the nurse's .small car was replaced with
a lari;i', nfw, oveniiiient station wngon. Tlie
ride to and from the hospital in this vehicle with
tlie uovernmrut enihleni on the front door,
( hanllenred by the nurse, was a mark of distinction for iTiiUiy of tin- men w ho enioyed waving to
thfir neifhljors as tliey drove by. They kneu' that
they eould yet their pills and "spring tonic" from
tlie nurse whenever they needed them between
snrvey.s, but they looked fonvard happily to havinsi thf overnnient doctor take tlieir blood pressure and listen to their htarts. 't'liose men wlio
vveie advised about tlieir di<'ts wire e.spetially
delighted even though thej would not adhere to
tho restrictions.
Because of the low educational status of the
majority of the patienLs, it wa.s iiiipossible to
appe:il to them from a purely .scientific approadi.
Therefore, vitrions methods were \t^vi\ to maintain and stimulate their interest. Free medicines,
burial a.ssistiU)(e or insurance (the project beiny
referred to as "Miss River.s' Lixle"). free hot
nieals on the days of examination, transportation
to and from the hospital, and an oppt)rtiinity to
stop in town on the returu trip to shop or visit
with their friend.s on tlu' streets ill helped, bi

Throughout back country uiliovi i ul M.tLuu County,


Alii., and in town of Tuskegee, recruitment drives to
secure e.\periment suhjects ot underway in fall of
1932. The Depression aud poverty in fieneral encouraged reeniits to accept free lunclii's and tre<' burials.

Continued on Poge 184

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Charles M. Keever, mayor

o Tiiskcfrc ulieii disclosure (if syphilis L'.xltTiment Wiis milde in


July, says of the Tuskegee Stutly: "It's a very
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tliat a reat big liog lias
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CONDEMNED TO DIE
spite of tbt!se attractiiHis, there were some v\Iio refused their
tions heeau.se they were not sick and ilid not ste that they were heiii.if
hencfited. Nothing wvoked sume of the fiatifnitk norc than fur it
doctor tit tell tlwin that they wen; uvt un Iwallhij (i.\ ilwij felt. Ttti'i
attitiutc .somctimci upiicurvd to tin- cxaminiun phijsician as rank mgratitufle far a thoroufih mdirai icorkup uliiili would ro.st anijaur
eke a largi' amoinit of vioncy if soiiglit at cisonal cxpeim^ [italies
iidded]. At thest' times the nurse reminded the doctor of the sap
between his edueation and health attitudes antl those of the pittients.

Various atteinpts have been matic by \ arious reporters to talk


with Miss Rivers, but to most o thfin (as far as can be deteriniiied) she dcclini'S to say aiiythiiiii rt-garding tlu' Tuskejiee
project. In TiLskcgcf, when EmiNV tck-phoncd Miss Hivers to rvan interview, she said, "1 have nothit^g to say."

B
than on Radiah.

Cachet.
It^s the fragrance
as individual
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Y 1946, the Tuskogt't' Study liatl been in existenee lor 13 years.


Penicillin, discovered three years earlier, had just become generally available to the medical profession. The Nureinborfi Code,
just promulgated, was being hailed as a giant step forward for
the civilized world. And the Tuskegee Study, already written
about in 19.36, was discussed in 1946 in at toast two medical
journals and was being hailed, moreover, as an experiment "of
great seientific interest to the niedieal community . . . widely
diseussed at medical meetings and . . . the suijject of [by 19711
not less than 15 papers pul)lish(d in . . . .\merican medical literature," says a recent PHS baelvground paper. Still, in spite ol
the interest it generated, in spite of tho Nuremberg Code and
thi' ei\'ilizctl orld, penicillin, the miracle drug in the mid-40s,
was not gi\ en to the Tuskegee sin-\ i\ors. Why?
In his Atlanta oiEce of the Center for Disease Control, Dr.

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Johnny Ford,
new uiayor wht) took
Dfict' in October, snys
of tbe syphilis experiment: "I was shoekeil
to realize that lives h.id
been lost and duiauecl
just for e,vperinientii!
purposes. But what
I am really concenied
about Is the way tbtiniape of the eity of Tuskeseeiias been marred,"

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184

2403 Manley S t , Brockton, Mass. 02403

Confinued on Page 186

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J. D. Millar, chief of the VD branch at CDC!, explains that he


doasn't kiio' why. "That's what is coiiceniinii everyone," he say.s.
"We cant tt'll you at this point why tlie decision was made, or
why there was no decision at all." Tbcn he sugsestpd that simple
bulifferenee to the fate of the Tuskegee patients niitiht lia\-e been
in\oK'fcl: "It may well lie that there v\as simply a lack of dcision
[to administer penicillin]. People ditln't identify tliis group aiid
say. 'Ah, ha! N<m- we have this brilliant new druji and we need
to treat those people." That process," explains Dr. Millar, who
seems quite unaware of the condemnation implicit in his words,
")ust may not have occurrtd."
When he was interviewed by the Waslunjiton Post, a physician
who joined the Tuskegee Stud\' in 19.50, Dr. Sidney Olansky o\
Atlanta's Emory University Medical School, explained it this wa\-:
"We did not know enough. We vvould not have been comfortable
about treating this group with pcniellTi until the tnid-l95(ls."
Perhaps so, but Dr. Venial Cave disagrees. "By 1946," he declares, "standardized treatment schedtiles for the treatment ol
all stages of sypbisprimary, secondary, latent and late~h:ul
been established. Moreover, in I94fi, we hadn't yet Ix'come awaie
of penicillin's allergy reactions. And besides, if the Publie Ilealtli
Serviee withlieltl treatment from the Tuskegee patients because
it believed the benefits of not treating them were better, then it is
guilty of having dis S-min ated all over the nation iiiforniatiDu encouraging treatment of syiilulis at all stages. '
ONE of these retorts, explanations, hastily assembled justifications and charges of genocide swirling around the Tiiskegec
project would probably be occurring today It" it hadn't been Im

Continued on Fag^ 188

In Tuskegee law office ot l-'ifd

D. Cray (r. ), Cliiirlie

FUiird coiilcT>: witli the attorney in atternpt to seritre


compensation for 4()-year service as h u m a n guinea pig.

CONDEMNED TO DIE continued

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the aU'itiicss of .Associated Press corre.simiideiit Ji'aii Hi-IK-r. 30,


who learned al>oiit tJu- exi.stonce of the .stud>- in July when she w.is
covering tlu- Dt'inocralie Natioiiiil Coineiitloii in Miami.
A few weeks prior to the eonvention, onv of Mis.s Heller's
colleagues ba.st'd in vSan Francisco hatl been told of the Tnskejiee
project by a former employe of the U. S. Publie lieaUli Sfr\ ice
in that city. Since the Tuskegee area was beyond the "beat" ot
AP's Sail Francisco ofiec, the colleague passed her information
along to Nti.ss Heller, who is based in Washington. After the eonvcntion. Miss Heller immediately began lii-r research into tlir
Tuskegee Study, and three weeks later, on juK' 25, she fili-d lui
story.
One of the person.s probably most embarrassed by Miss ili-lhys
disclosure was her nanii'sake, a noted seientist Dr. Jobn I.
Heller, wliom Or. Millar cites as the originator ol the Tuskegtc
Study. An assistant surgeon general at PHS in 1932 and latt r
chief of the ser\ice's \ ' D (li\ision during those crucial yeurs l tween 1943 and 194S when penicillin became widely availalile.
Dr. Heller says today of the Tuskeg<'e projeet: "There was absolutely no raeial overtone, and tliis was not an attempt to e\ploil
the Negroes. We told them what they had." Nevertheless: ' I t
never oocnrri'd to us to ask for penicillin because the demand w as
so greitt for other people who needed it much more than they
did. We were not responsilile for getting it to them, so u'e made
no ellort to get it."
When Miss Heller's disclosures became mblic, congressional
leaders and other go\eniment officials reacted w ith expressions of
"outrage," "disbelief,"' "liorroi," "shock" and "dismay." And so a
month later, on August 24, the inevitable panel to investigate tinTuskegee project was appointed by Dr. Merlin K. DuVal. assistant secretary for health and scientific aflairs in the U. S. Department ot" Health, Education and Welfare.
A prepared HEW statement (notes Dr. DiA'ul as saying, '"llupanel will ri'view all of the available e\ idence and evalnate the
ethieal and scientiBe merits of the study against the backdrop of
tlie social and scientific history of the period from 1932 to 1972."
The town of Tuskegee displayed mixed reactions to the tlisclosure of the syphilis exiicriment. During interviews with EBONV,
some Tuskegee citizens indicated that they did not want to discuss the study, while others said the\ had no opinion about it.
Others., however, were quite vocal and bitterly angry.
"The stiuU' shows that blaek people have been fooled onee
again,"' said Mrs. Anita Lennard, a black bousevvif(\
Miss Sally Hobin.son, a white elementary sehool teacher, indicated that she felt the study could have only been perpetrated
against powerless people. "I would assume at least that it would
only happen to people who were without iwwcir," she said,
"people who were unknowing and unable to protect themselves."
One white citizen, however. didn"t agree with Miss lobinson's
analysis. Charles Kee\'er, mayor of Tuskegee at the time of the
experiment's di,sclosure, put it this way: "It [the study] luis eertainiy Ix'en blown out of proportion. It's a \ery small pig. mil it
seems that a great big hog has been made out of it. lis only
small in my thinking. In Pennsylvania in the ilood areas, tliose
people are suffering up there. to<i. I mean, black and \vhite, up
Continued on Page F90

CONDEMNED TO DIE
thort-, V(ni liavc .some people ui) thert-," said the p p
mayor, "who don't even have a shelter over their heads."
Jn the meantime-, Chiirlie Pollard and inuny of the other 74
sur\i\or.s ha\e a.skod Fretl D, Gray, the prominent eivil ri^ihts
attorney, to represent them in efforts to secure compensation for
their 40-\'ear sc'r\iee a.s human (inine;i pigs. "We represent," says
Gray, "a substantial number of those who are still li\ ing and also
some widows and other heirs of the deceased participants in the
study."*
Fifteen years ago. thi- govcnuDcnt made an effort to eoiiipt-iisate Gharlie Pollard and the other sur\i\ors of tJie project b\awarding them a 25-year certificate and a few new, crisp ]>ils
amountins to S25 in appreciation of their long ser\ iee to U. S,
Public Health. Pollard's c-ertifieate, awarded in U)5S. read:
U.S. PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE
This certificate is awarded t<j
CHARLIE POLLARD
in grati'fiil recognition of 2 years
of acMvc participation in tlif
mditai re.sfartli study.

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190

Pollard remembers t!ic little ceremony dnring which he received the certifeatf cjuite well, remeinb<^rs the wami thanks
given him and the others, and the broad smiles of the PHS olfieials. "1 been looking for that certificate," I'ollard recently said,
a!so smiling, "to give to the lawyer."
Not long ago, Dr. Millar, who has been struggling for the past
several months with the implications of the Tuskegee Study, attempted to sum it up: " think there were racial overtones,
because if you were looking for a group with whieh to do a longterm study, what kind of gK)up would you look for? First of all.
yon would look for one that is reasonably stai)]c. Secondly, one
that is compliant and \\ill do what you tell them to do. And,
thirdly, one that will not ask too man\' (ineslinns. Well, you eau
take all of those xiints and appl\' them more to tlu- black i)O])nlation at that time than to the white. . . , The (ncstion I have been
asking myself of late is: Would it ha\e be<'n conceivable to do
such a .study on wlntcs? My fcehug is that the study wmild not
have been done on whites."
Pausing at statue of Booker T. Wusliinloii on Tuskcficr
Institute canipiis. Pollard scrin\ to Ix- reflrctinj.; ahonl
cairipns' acadeiiiii' lanic and town's syphilis liinniliatiou.

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