The U.S. government created the Tuskegee Health Benefit Program in 1974. This program gives lifetime medical and health benefits for all those involved in the Tuskegee syphillis study along with their immediate family members for the rest of their lives. During that same year, the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research was formed. The purpose of this committee was to create a basic code of ethics that all biomedical and behavioral research involving people must follow. This basic code of ethics became the Belmont Report.
Building off the Belmont Report, government agencies, Health & Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), created the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, also known as the “Common Rule” in 1981. The Common Rule laid out a specific work plan on how to assure that the rights of all participants were protected and in line with the ethical standards from the Belmont Report.
Another important breakthrough for the rights of volunteer participants came in 1997, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded The Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care. This center focuses on bringing together scholars doing research in the areas of science, humanities, law and religion relating to how African Americans and other minority groups are regarded. For more information about this study click here.