In 1932, the U.S. government’s public health service division began studying a disease called syphilis in Alabama near the Tuskegee Institute.
The white doctors used African American men as their research subjects. All of these men were poor. Some had the disease, others didn’t. The men with the syphilis called what they had “bad blood.”
The men with the “bad blood” were told that they were getting free treatment from the U.S. government; however, the doctors were not treating the men with the disease at all. They were really just observing how the syphilis affected the men until death. The black men had been deceived.
It wasn’t until 1973 that the American public found out about this unethical study. In 1997, President Bill Clinton publicly apologized for it.