Rethinking the Tuskegee Syphilis Study: Nurse Rivers, Silence and the Meaning of Treatment

  title={Rethinking the Tuskegee Syphilis Study: Nurse Rivers, Silence and the Meaning of Treatment},
  author={Susan M Reverby},
  journal={Nursing History Review},
  pages={28 - 3}
  • S. Reverby
  • Published 1 January 1999
  • Medicine
  • Nursing History Review
More than twenty-five years after its widespread public exposure, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study continues to stand as the prime American example of medical arrogance, nursing powerlessness, abusive state power, bureaucratic inertia, unethical behavior and racism in rcsemch. For historians of nursing and medicine, the so-called study's complexities still remain a site for continued reexamination as new primary research is explored and changing analytic frames arc appIied. The study was a forty… 
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The Shadow and the Act." in The Collected Em-ys ofRalph Ellir~fi, ed
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Harnrnonds, "Black (W)holes and the Gwrnetry of Black Funale Sexuality," Differences
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Sick and Tircd of Being Sick and Tired": Black Women's Health Activism in America
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For further discussion of this differentiation within the Black community see Hazel Carby
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The reading of her mice in the italics is mine. 73. For a fuller of discussion of this see Susan M. Reverb5 Orderedt~ Care: The Djltmnna of Anecrican Nlrrsing
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There are &firing riewpoints on how much of this arride Nurse Rivers acruallywrote and no written evidence to cvduate the claims
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En-gen&fiag Power: Essuys on A d a Hi4 Chrencr Thomru and thr Cotutmction of Soddl R c s f i~
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  • 1934
(hereafter cited as Jones-Laurie interview). I am grateful to James Jones for ~roviding me with his transcription
Alabama Depanmcar of Public Health, Administrative Files, 1928-35. Folder Macon County Miscellaneous 1930-33, Alabama State Archives