(1) A patient s right to informed consent is more important than anything else. We can make sure that a patient understands the risk and benefits by obtaining a patient’s informed consent. According t


A patient s right to informed consent is more important than anything else. We can make sure that a patient understands the risk and benefits by obtaining a patient’s informed consent. According to the textbook, informed consent means that patients must be made fully aware of known treatment risks, benefits, and options: be deemed capable of understanding such information and making a responsible judgment; and be aware that they may refuse to participate or may cease treatment at any time (DuPré, 2017). The Tuskegee experiment was a clinical study conducted between 1932 and 1972, the study was intended to observe the natural history of untreated syphilis (2021). The researcher had told the patients that they were going to be receiving free treatment, but they did not collect informed consent from the patients to study, the path through their sickness without providing the appropriate medical treatment. While the initial reaction many people have about the experiment is how could it have happened? Mine is how could medical experts follow through with such an unethical experiment for so many years without being stopped since people could have noticed that they were doing wrong? I think that the fact that it took 40 years for the research to end, says a lot about how much our health care has improved through time. I don’t think an experiment like this can happen again, as now if a doctor does not obtain informed consent from the patients, legal matters can be filed against the doctor. Moving on, in my opinion, it could be permissible to override a patient’s wish to save their life if a family member is present and can provide an option on how they would like the treatment of the person whose life is on the line to continue. If the doctors are only aware of the patients’ wishes and there is no one available at the moment to tell them to perform some sort of help that would save their lives then they must continue to perform as the patient had wished.


After watching The Tuskegee experiment it made me a bit sad how throughout all these years it took them to find something effective, yet the doctors lied to get people to become their own experiment. I  believe during these times, they didn’t care about theses people whether they lived or died. I don’t believe it could happen again at least in the United States but I do believe that not abiding to the health care system can get us in trouble. For example with COVID though it was a very deadly severe virus, the government in some states decided to take control by not allowing certain people in a restaurant, theme park, even jobs for example; therefore if people weren’t vaccinated it would definitely give them an initiative too. Though I am vaccinated I have heard other people get a reaction from the vaccine. This kind of reminds me of how the men were persuaded to try different things to get rid of the infection. I  also don’t believe we should override a patients wishes unless him or her were unconscious; and had completely lost their mind then it would be up to whoever was taking care of them. In my opinion if a patient has all full senses and doesn’t want something done I  believe we should respect his or hers wishes.


The Tuskegee Experiment was devastating and something that should have absolutely never have taken place! While watching the youtube video that was provided I was shocked at the disregard for human rights that was shown by the medical professionals preforming these experiments and procedures. The fact that treatment was withheld and these humans were treated like guinea pigs is so disturbing. The use of deception and putting others at risk was so unethical and something that I would hope would never take place again. The only positive aspect that came from this horrific experiment was the fact that change was made because of it, now we focus on making sure that patients are given details and information about the medical experiments beforehand and that they give informed consent before taking any part of the study.

When it comes to emergencies when the patients is not able to give consent the following may take place, “In emergencies, when a decision must be made urgently, the patient is not able to participate in decision making, and the patient s surrogate is not available, physicians may initiate treatment without prior informed consent. In such situations, the physician should inform the patient/surrogate at the earliest opportunity and obtain consent for ongoing treatment in keeping with these guidelines.”(Code of Medical Ethics Opinion 2.1.1, 2022.)

I think that in emergency situations, if and only if there is no one available to give consent, then it is okay for the medical professional to begin treatment to save one’s life. I think that it is also of upmost importance that the patient is informed of the situation as soon as possible and given the choice wether or not they want treatment to continue once they are able to communicate with the medical staff. However, if the patients wishes were for no treatment to take place and if they had communicated this beforehand,  then I do not think it is permissible for the staff to override this decision.


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