U. S. Syphilis Study at Tuskegee and minority participation in research
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Many nights after finishing my shifts of running entrees, pouring wine, and remaining unwaveringly hospitable, I would sit at the gleaming wooden bar centered in my restaurant of employment and chat with the manager, Mario. Over glasses of Bogle Merlot (the best tasting red wine for its price), we would avidly avoid talking shop or anything restaurant and would discuss more irrelevant topics like travel, World War II, and the ingenuity of Jersey Shore. A young, white woman in her tender young adult years, such as I, and a middle-aged black man, such as he, had many dynamics and opinions to share, and the learning was immense and relentless. One late night at the bar, the discussion turned medical, and Mario confessed that he distrusted and avoided doctors until an illness turned frightfully dire and swore that he would never, never, ever, ever participate in a medical study. At that time I was in the hub of the hurricane that is 6th semester of nursing school with pre-planning, informed consent, patient-care, ethics, error reports, and 6,000 page lectures turning violently in my naive novice-nurse's head. The shock of such a distrust of medical professionals who slave through years of school to become proficient providers for patients nearly knocked me off the barstool and on the linoleum. "Why?" I asked, wide-eyed. "Have you ever heard of the Tuskegee study?"
Artifacts ; issue 06 (2012)