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Lessons from the Tuskegee study still felt today

The news about the Tuskegee study became public 45 years ago this summer. The federally funded study, which involved leaving syphilis untreated in African-American men for decades to follow its course, even after effective treatment became available, is one of the seminal events leading to the development of human subject protection regulations, policy, and best practices.

It also is a foundation for what some have called lasting mistrust between the African-American community and medical researchers, according to a recent article in USA Today. How has this mistrust impacted the continuing process of ensuring that study populations are representative of the community from which they’re drawn and that selection is equitable? And what can be done to overcome it?