THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Friday, July 28, 1972
Doctor in syphilis study:
'Victims were not told'
by The Associated Pres
TUSKEGEE. Ala. (P) - A
local doctor who took part in
the early years of a federal sy-
philis study says he does not
recall that the black participants
were ever told they were sub-
jects of an experiment or what
the study involved.
"The people who came in were
not told what was being done,"
Dr. J. W. Williams said in an
interview Wednesday. "We told
them we wanted to test them.
They were not told,, so far as I
know, what they were being
treated for or what they were not
being treated for.
"We didn't tell them we were
looking for syphilis," he said.
"I don't think they would have
known what that was".
The experiment, called the
Tuskegee Study, began in 1932.
It was run by the U.S. P u b li c
Health Service (P.H.S.) and in-
volved 600 Black men from this
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area, 200 with no signs of syphil-
is and 400 who had the disease,
according to the federal agency.
At least seven men died as a
direct result of syphilis and that
figure could be higher, according
to P.H.S. officials. They voiced
concern about the morality of
the study, particularly about its
continuation after penicillin was
discovered as a pure for syphil-
Dr. John Heller, the former
PHS doctor, was asked if he had
made any effort to obtain peni-
cillin for the syphilitics when it
became gradually available In
"No," he said, "and it never
occurred to us to ask because
the demand was so great for oth-
er people who needed it msu c h
more than they did - the armed
forces and people in civilian life"
with other serious diseases.
"Also," Dr. Heller added, "we
were not responsible for getting
it to them so weamadeno effort
to get it. This wasa community
responsibility in Tuskegee . . .
It was not our ball of wax."
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THE SENATE gave the Pentagon approval yesterday to
speed-up development of the Trident submarine despite crities'
fears that accelerated development could result in another ex-
pensive cost overrun.
By a 47 to 39 vote', the Senate also defeated an amendment to
cut $508 million from the $20.5 billion military hardware budget
to pay for quick construction of four cruiser-sized submarines. The
$13.5 billion Trident. program calls for construction of 10 boats,
with each vessel designed to carry 24 multiple-warhead missiles
with a range of 4,000 miles.
SOVIET MILITARY pilots are reported leaving Egypt in
what U.S. sources say is shaping up as a "pretty large" Rus-
Sources indicated a belief that the pullout would go beyond
some 5,000 to 6,000 Soviet advisers to include some of the estimated
10,000 to 12,000 Russian pilots, antiaircraft missile men, technicians
and specialists serving in Egypt.
THE U.S. BOARD OF PAROLE granted parole yesterday to
publisher Ralph Ginsberg, presently serving a three-year term
in an Allenwood, Pa. prison. -
Ginsberg, the former editor and publisher of Eros magazine,
was convicted in June of 1963 of sending pornographic materials
through the mails. He will be paroled on Oct. 11.
PRESIDENT NIXON declared the United States has not
and will not bomb civilian targets in North Vietnam and accused
U.N. Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim and "many well-inten-
tioned and naive people" of seizing upon "enemy-inspired propa-
ganda" to charge that U.S. warplanes have hit dikes and dams.
Lashing out at critics yesterday as he delivered perhaps the
most spirited defense to date of his Vietnam policies, Nixon told
a news conference that chances for a negotiated settlement are
better than ever before. But he said a congressional end-the-war
resolution could prolong the fighting.
SEN. ALLEN ELLENDER (D-La.), dean of the Senate and
one of the last of the Huey Long-era politicians from Louisiana,
died of a heart attack in Bethesda Naval Hospital yesterday. He
Ellender, Senate president pro tempore and chairperson of its
Appropriations committee, was stricken as he returned to Wash-
ington from his home state where he was campaigning for his
THE MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT ruled yesterday that
children may sue their parents over injuries caused by parental
The ruling overturned a state legal precedent dating to 1926,
that in turn was based on an earlier 1891 Mississippi ruling against
family suits in the interest of "peace of society and family."
Michigan joined 13 other states in this high court ruling.
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