The Deadly Deception – 1993 Rare Documentary (Tuskegee Experiment)


The Deadly Deception – extremely rare documentary – 1993

•Narrated by George Strait (Veteran journalist and former Chief Medical Correspondent with ABC News).
•Among those interviewed include Vanessa Gamble (Historian of Medicine, MD Ph.D.), Allan Brandt (Historian of Medicine and Science), Herman Shaw (Study subject), Mary Hardy (Tuskegee Nurse), John Cutler (Tuskegee Study Researcher), James Jones (Historian, author of Bad Blood), Jay Katz (Professor of Law and Psychiatry), Bill Jenkins (Epidemiologist, CDC), Peter Buxton (Public Health worker, CDC), Gene Stollerman (CDC Review Panel, 1969), David Sencer (Director, CDC 1966-77), Charles Pollard (Study subject).
•Edited by Charles Scott.
•Camera by Robert Shepard, Brian Dowley, Bill Mills.
•Original music composed by John Kusiak.
•Voice over narration by Bill Mason.

Winner of the 1993 National Association of Black Journalists Award

From the University of Tuskegee website:

“For forty years between 1932 and 1972, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) conducted an experiment on 399 black men in the late stages of syphilis. These men, for the most part illiterate sharecroppers from one of the poorest counties in Alabama, were never told what disease they were suffering from or of its seriousness. Informed that they were being treated for “bad blood,” their doctors had no intention of curing them of syphilis at all. The data for the experiment was to be collected from autopsies of the men, and they were thus deliberately left to degenerate under the ravages of tertiary syphilis—which can include tumors, heart disease, paralysis, blindness, insanity, and death. “As I see it,” one of the doctors involved explained, “we have no further interest in these patients until they die.”This program, hosted by CBS News correspondent Richard Schlesinger, includes an interview with one of the last surviving participants, Herman Shaw; explains the role of Nurse Rivers; and presents the medical establishment’s justification for disguising racism as legitimate medical research.”

A nearly extinct relic, The Deadly Deception was once a documentary screened in high schools throughout the US. It may be still, although its net presence is not consistent with that of an important educational film.


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