No Meaningful Apology for American Indian Unethical Research Abuses

Ethics and Behavior 22 (6):431-444 (2012)

This article reviews the history of medical and research abuses experienced by American Indians since European colonization. This article examines the unethical research of American Indians/Alaska Natives in light of the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male. Literature citations indicate that significant unethical research and medical care incidents occurred both before and after the Tuskegee Syphilis Study among American Indians/Alaska Natives. The majority of these unethical abuses were committed by the federal government and within the historical context of a long-term contentious relationship between American Indians and the federal government. Although President Clinton issued a highly visible public apology to the African American survivors of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment in 1997, American Indians have yet to experience such visible federal acknowledgment. To ensure ethical research in which benefits outweigh risks and findings are not value-laden or misrepresented, tribes have instituted their own Institutional Review Boards coupled with community-participatory activities
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DOI 10.1080/10508422.2012.730788
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