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Tuskegee University marks Clinton's syphillis study apology

TUSKEGEE, Ala. — The Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care will mark the 11th year since President Bill Clinton apologized to the victims of the infamous “Tuskegee Experiment” with a commemoration today and Friday on campus at the university.

The U.S. Public Health Service program, formally billed as the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male” wreaked havoc on hundreds of black men and their families in Macon County, Ala., from 1932 to 1972. Many of their relatives will attend the commemoration at Tuskegee.

The event begins at 6 p.m. Thursday with a reception in the Kellogg Conference Center. On Friday, activities include addresses from notable panelists on topics such as race and genetics, epidemiology and public health, and theology, ethics and genomics. The keynote speaker for the luncheon is Dr. Riggins Earl of the Interdenominational Theological Center.

The Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care was officially established on May 16, 1999. It officially opened in 2006. The Center continues to build upon the rich history and commitment of Tuskegee University to seek improvements in the health and health care of people living in underrepresented.

"We here at Tuskegee will never forget the men and families who suffered the indignity at the hands of their government,” said Dr. Benjamin F. Payton, Tuskegee University President. "The faculty and staff of the University use the memory of this injustice to propel us in our work to promote equity and justice in the fields of health and health care."

For more information on the Bioethics Center and this year’s event, call 334-724-4554.