On July 12, 1972, the secrets of the Tuskegee Syphillis Study were exposed by a reporter named Jean Heller in The New York Times. This created questions as to why the government allowed hidden unethical research such as the Tuskegee study to occur. The infected men passed syphilis to their unsuspecting wives who later infected their newborn children. The unethical study led to the death of twenty-eight black men and left hundreds with long lasting health problems. After the study came to light, the participants filed a ten-million-dollar lawsuit in 1974 and won. The money was distributed to the men and their descendants. The last known survivor passed away in 2004 at the age of ninety-six. The aftermath of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study weakened the confidence in Alabama and in the government’s healthcare system.
- Encyclopedia of Alabama: http://encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1116