Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

Apology at Last

Justice delayed is justice denied, said the statesman. The same is true of an apology. But we hope that even a long-delayed one will give some comfort to the families of 399 victims of a federal health experiment the White House calls "absolutely reprehensible" - and to the few surviving victims themselves.

The latter are invited to the Rose Garden May 16, where President Clinton will make a formal apology for the Tuskegee Syphilis Study of 1932-72, in which poor black men were promised free medical care, were diagnosed with syphilis, but were then neither told of it nor given treatment for it. They were studied along with a control group of 201 men without syphilis. By the time the study (subject of a recent television film, "Miss Evers' Boys") was exposed in 1972, the deaths of 28 participants were attributed to syphilis and of 100 to syphilis-related complications.

About these ads

Since then the government has paid some $10 million to victims and families in an out-of-court settlement. May the belated presidential apology mean not only regret for the past but renewed determination for scrupulous government conduct in the future.

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.