Miss Veers abides by the initial plan to provide are to the men suffering from syphilis and to prove that black and whites were the same biologically in regards to disease. As Miss Veers initially believes that the government would provide the best medical support available to her patients, she rallies up a majority of the African American men of Macon County. Miss Veers becomes profoundly attached to the patients, as they are to her. Although the government funded project intended to treat the men, the funds for the study ultimately dissipate.
Dry. Broods, the chief doctor of Tuskegee, heads to Washington where he is confronted by Washington D. C. Officials with an offer of a new underlying principle for funding. The gentlemen explain to Dry. Broods that the study of the African American men is intended to mimic the study that was done in Oslo, Norway that focused on Caucasian males who were infected. On the contrary, the Tuskegee men would no longer be patients who would be treated, but as human subjects of research. They would also not be informed of the transformation of the study.
In disbelief, Dry. Broods learns the truth about the government experiment, but is intrigued and hopeful that the project would bring future funding for proper reattempts in order for the African American Men of Tuskegee and to establish the fact that a disease would bring about the same affects on people regardless of race. In disbelief and feeling distraught that the men will not be treated, Miss Veers sticks to her pledge and commitment to treating the men and feels as if she must not abandon them as she will be there for comfort and support.
Dry. Broads and Miss Veers hoped that funding for treatment would be restored after several months, but the years sweep by. The men were given placebos and liniments and Miss Veers intended her effort to partake in the lie that eventually results in a four-decade period of deteriorated health for African American men. This eventually leads to the 1973 Senate hearing in which Miss Veers testifies into the Tuskegee study which viewers are introduced to in the beginning of the film.
From there, viewers are taken to the scenes of the four decade Journey, which depict the many examples of ethical issues that took place in the Tuskegee study. The decisions and actions of Miss Veers proved to be courageous, but at the same time, many unethical factors and situations occurred during the study. In the Ethics Lecture written by Lisa Hankerer, the concepts of ethics and ethical dilemmas are explained. Within a workplace or professional group, a code of ethics must be abided by. “A professional Code of Ethics will include how one should conduct themselves in an ethical manner” (Hankerer 1).
Different types of codes of ethics include “Relations with Public”, “Responsibility to the Profession” and “Responsibility in the Research and Evaluation” (Hankerer 1), all of which Miss Veers was involved with. Miss Veers took a pledge to care for, protect, and provide emotional support towards the infected men which is her code of conduct as a health professional. Time progressed and as the men continued to be untreated, symptoms began to develop and health starts to deteriorate. A dancer of the group named Willie, develops problems within his skeletal system as his bones deteriorate.
Ben, another man of the group, begins to show signs of mental dysfunction as the syphilis infection spreads to his brain. Penicillin became available in the sass, but the infected men were not given any. Eventually, several of the untreated men die. Although Miss Veers had an initial ledge to care for and treat the men, she ultimately deceived them into thinking they would soon get better and continued to give them placebos and pseudo treatment such as spinal taps which she called “back shots” (Miss Veers’ Boys).
Miss Veers only did what she thought was right and fulfilled her duty of following the doctor’s orders, but her conduct was unethical. She went out of the boundaries of the proper code of conduct as a genuine health care provider. Dry. Broads also had his fare share of unethical actions as he never informed the patients of the procedures and tests done upon them. Not once did Dry. Broods get informed consent from the men to obtain physical tests from them. Miss Veers’ continued to tell the men “Listen to the doctors, because they know’ (Miss Veers Boys). She did an accurate Job of instilling trust the infected men.
Although Dry. Broods’ sole purpose was to treat the infected men with syphilis and receive funding for proper treatment; purpose was never fulfilled resulting in a 4 decade failed research project drastically affecting and killing the innocent men in Macon county. In the Ethics Lecture by Lisa Hankerer, she states hat “the study (of the Tuskegee men) has moved from a singular historical event to a powerful metaphor that symbolizes racism in medicine, misconduct in human research, the arrogance of physicians, and government abuse of black people” (1).
This touches on the “Barriers to Ethical Problems” in which Hankerer identifies in the Ethics Lecture. The economics from the sass to sass was complex, and African Americans certainly dealt with many economic barriers in that era because of their race. Resources for treatment were diminished for the men of Tuskegee as funding as never aided to the project acting as a barrier to receive legitimate treatment to cure the infection of syphilis.
The concept of “Institutional racism” (Hankerer) contributes to the fact that the infected African American men were untreated for a long period of time and were never permitted by the U. S. Government to receive penicillin as treatment. Another factor contributing to the institutional racism portrayed in Miss Veers Boys was the common misconception that the African American men of Macon County, Alabama would react differently to disease than Caucasian men.
Miss Veers’ Boys portrayed mordant events of health science in America from the sass to sass that led to legal action towards racism and abuse of humans as research subjects. The decisions Miss Veers faced had many pros and cons in regards to the infected men of the Tuskegee Institution with how they felt, what they went through, and the effects on their health. Throughout the movie, as a viewer, I consistently hoped that Miss Veers would defy the conventions of the doctors and obtain a cure for syphilis to treat the men lawfully. References Hankerer, Lisa. “Ethics Lecture”.
Human Development Course. (2014) Miss Veers’ BOYS. 1997 TV Movie Youth. Com: http://www. Youth. Com/watch? V=muddy OB8233BA1947FA forty year study and her reasons as to why she continued with it for as long as she did. The movie leaves the viewers to reflect on the ethical and the immoral issues of the Tuskegee Experiment. In conclusion, Miss Veers may have been one of the main focuses of evaluating the Tuskegee study in the 1972 Senate hearing, but it is the intentions of the U. S senators and government that should also be looked at for moral evaluation.
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