Bioethical principles in medical experiments are vitally important, but not every participant understands the related risks. Miss Evers’ Boys, a 1997 American film, demonstrates the disregard of human rights in medicine. The film is based on a true story of the long-lasting Tuskegee experiment, conducted by a group of specialists, including a black nurse Eunice Evers. The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of untreated syphilis, and hundreds of poor African-American men suffered as a result of the research. In this review, the issue of rights-based ethics is considered in detail.
During the Tuskegee experiment, the researchers deliberately ignored basic human rights. McDonald and Then (2019) define right as an entitlement to something, which “no one should be allowed to prevent you from having” (p. 8). The film demonstrates that the participants were denied treatment even after penicillin was discovered as a medication; instead, healthy participants were infected on purpose. Moreover, healthcare rights-based ethics implies that medical specialists need to consider the consequences affecting the general population (Elsevier, 2018). The lack of treatment for the subjects put their wives and children at risk. Finally, human rights are closely connected with not being deceived or manipulated (Farrell et al., 2017). However, test subjects were not aware of the real purpose of the study and their actual disease. Therefore, these examples prove that in this notorious clinical experiment, the researchers did not consider any legal and moral principles.
In conclusion, it is necessary to emphasize the role of a medical specialist in ethics-related issues. Working for the benefit of the overall well-being implies that the individual’s right to life and healthcare should be respected. A professional and especially a medical group leader is the one who knows and protects the rights of patients. Moreover, it is important to address possible disturbances connected with infringing individuals’ rights. Only in this case, the goal of the overall health will be reached according to the principles of ethics.
Elsevier. (2018). Elsevier legal and ethical issues for health professions (4th ed.). Elsevier Health Sciences.
Farrell, A. M., Devereux, J., Karpin, I., & Weller, P. (2017). Health law. Cambridge University Press.
McDonald, F., & Then, S. N. (2019). Ethics, law and health care: A guide for nurses and midwives (2nd ed.). Macmillan International Higher Education.