1932 – Last Chance For Special Free Treatment

I stopped for breakfast at one of the local diners the other morning, something I do every once in awhile just to stay in touch with some area friends.  Having little interest or trust in, so-called, healthy dieting, I usually start with a half dozen eggs, sunnyside up; 12 strips of bacon; triple order of heavily buttered toast and a gallon of black, piping hot, coffee.  On very rare occasions, I'll swap things for some french toast and/or creamed chipped beef over toast (SOS as we call it).

If I had to guess, I suppose I've been eating the same breakfast since the Johnson administration, after having been a solid Cream Of Wheat aficionado during Eisenhower and Kennedy.  Not that any of them had anything to do with my eating habits, but it's just my way of putting it into a timeframe.

Of course, my friends tend to claim that they can hear the blood trying to force it's way through my, presumed, highly restricted arteries.  But, regardless of their claims, I always take great pride in the fact that I'm still under 190 lbs. and have healthier cholesteral levels and blood pressure than all of them, despite the dainty portions of oat bran they're usually nibbling on.

In good time, as we're finishing our respective meals, we'll tend to start talking about current events.  Given my eating habits, the topics of late have usually been around the health care debate.

Now I'm not very inclined to turn this into a political website unless the topic involves some historical perspective that can possibly shed some light on current affairs.  The only beliefs that I remotely share with the current President is my disdain of bankers, whom he has targeted frequently enough, although I'm not in bed with them as he is.

That said, with the current health care debate causing so much stress in our society, I was reminded of 1932 and the title of this post:

Last Chance For Special Free Treatment

1932 was the year that our beloved and trusted Federal Government started what was to become known as the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment under the auspices of the Public Health Service.

If you've never heard of it, unelected bore-o-crats, hired and salaried with Congressional consent, decided to conduct a study on the effects and treatment of advanced syphilis using human subjects, all of whom were poverty stricken African Americans.

Generally, we would have to assume that most medical research involves real people as it would seem that there's very few other options.  But, without rehashing every known detail, our government conducted it in a fashion that was both deceitful and unethical. 

For instance, the "free treatment" mentioned in letters to the volunteers had absolutely nothing to do with treatment at all, and was only used as an enticement to encourage them to appear for a dangerous spinal tap.  During the course of the study, many were also given useless placebo's, just so the government could observe the effects of the disease at various stages as it ravaged their bodies.

The ultimate betrayal of trust was that the experiments continued into the early 1970's, despite the fact that penicillin had become an accepted and viable treatment for the disease some 25 years earlier.

The Tuskegee study only ended after a federal employee decided to reveal the details to the press and the story broke in the Washington Star in 1972.  In other words, it took 40 years for one of our trusted, tax-payer supported, federal employees to muster enough moral outrage to try to stop the experiments.

After numerous Congressional hearings, etc., etc., our politicians and bore-o-crats wasted no time in assuring us that we could still trust them with our health and medical matters, the offical line that so many are willing to fall for to this day and if you believe that I would like to talk to you about this bridge I own in New York.

And the original Tuskegee victims?  Only 74 of the original 400 were still alive when the study came to it's sudden halt after it was made public.  Close to half had met their demise because of their untreated syphilis and/or complications from it.

So when a smiling President, Senator or Congressman offers you free treatment and care… particularly if you are poor… be sure to learn some history and  start running like hell.

Take some time and read about it.  It happened and, although the names may have changed, it's still the same U.S. Government offering us another Last Chance For Special Free Treatment.

Phineous Zivick Huntington
March 4, 2010

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One Response to “1932 – Last Chance For Special Free Treatment”

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