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“Irwin Schatz, 83, Rare Critic of Tuskegee Syphilis Study, Is Dead”

Dr. Irwin Schatz


“Dr. Irwin Schatz, a lone critic of the notorious Tuskegee syphilis study, has died, The New York Times reports”

“Dr. Irwin Schatz, who, as a young doctor, was apparently the only critic of a federal experiment that let black Tuskegee, Ala., sharecroppers infected with syphilis go untreated, died April 1 in his Honolulu home, The New York Times reported. [FOLLOW THE LINK] He was 83.”

[…and “apparently” doesn’t rescue the failure to read at least as far as the original headline.]

John Pope, The Times-Picayune, 4/19/15 (updated 7/18/19)

SEE: “Bill Jenkins, epidemiologist who tried to end Tuskegee syphilis study, dies at 73”:


“Bill Jenkins, epidemiologist who tried to end Tuskegee syphilis study, dies at 73”

“The experiment was not conducted in secret. More than a dozen major articles about the study appeared in medical journals, according to Susan M. Reverby, a health-care historian at Wellesley College, although the participants were often described simply as “volunteers.” In the mid-1960s, a young Detroit doctor named Irwin Schatz read one such article and wrote a letter to the study’s leaders, urging them to “reevaluate their moral judgments.”

The letter was filed away without a response. And when Dr. Jenkins approached his adviser with concerns about the study, he was told, “Don’t worry about it.”

“There’s a tendency to believe that African Americans are reluctant to participate in research because of this one study and I think that belittles the concerns of African Americans,” he told the Times. “They are concerned about public health research because they’re alienated from American society in any number of ways, and this study is the bellwether. It’s much bigger than just this study…”

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