Tuskegee Apology

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: More than 60 years after the U.S. Public Health Service launched its infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study, President Clinton issued the government's first formal apology to survivors and their families. "What was done cannot be undone, but we can end the silence," Clinton said at an emotionally-charged White House ceremony. The 399 men from Macon County, Alabama who signed up for "free health care" only to be denied treatment for syphilis were treated "like guinea pigs," remembered 94-year-old survivor Herman Shaw, one of eight study participants still living. When the secret experiment finally ended in 1972, 128 men had died from the disease or related complications, and scores of their wives and children had been infected. In an attempt at reparations, Clinton has pledged $200,000 for construction of a Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care at Tuskegee University and announced the creation of a Department of Health and Human Services bioethics fellowship for minority medical students.