Miss Evers’ Boys Reflective Essay


“Miss Evers’ Boys” was produced in 1997, a HBO film thatstares Laurence Fishburne and Alfre Wooddard, based on a true storyof Tuskegee experiment that spans a decade. It tells about Tuskegeeexperiment, a United States government secret medical experimentcarried out on poor black Americans between 1932 and 1972, and wasdesigned to study the adverse effects of Syphilis (Stripling, 2013).It is told from Eunice Evers’ perspective, a small town nurse whois familiar with the lack of treatment but assumes her role is topity the men involved.

A misconception that people may have when dealing with life’sconstant troubles is that it sounds wrong to ask why in that as aChristian, one simply accepts the situation and never ask anyquestion. David, Abraham, and Moses all interceded and tried hard tounderstand God however, the lives of all the three men presented tous a total reliance to God even in the middle of questioning. Afterwatching the video, Nurse Evers in my opinion remained with the mensince she had a feeling that God Himself had sent her to stay withthem, and that she felt like she owe them for not being aware withthem and keeping quiet. In my view, if she had acted a moment sooner,and thought about what she had been asked to inquire more questionson her part, things could have been different by far on the men. InNurse Evers’ position, I would have informed the men after a yearthat they could not be receiving the medical care. As an appropriatething to, I could have sent them away for the new job in Alabama.

From situational analysis, Miss Eunice Evers’ was powerless tostart, continue or stop the program altogether. Her workingenvironment involved all her white superiors, while she involved withworking with black American men. As much as penicillin becameavailable, Nurse Evers’ did not have a voice to choose whether ornot the men could be given penicillin (Feldshuh, 2006).

From ethical point of view, a decision was made by Public HealthService (PHS) in 1932 to carry out a research in Alabama to studyuntreated sequence of syphilis in the black patients by using peoplethat languished in poverty and lacked medical care. They were toldthat they could be offered some food, financial assistance and freeexaminations on the diseases that hailed them. However, the trueevidence of the study were never revealed or even explained to them.Subsequently, the diseases that hailed them were never treated evenafter the penicillin drug was available as a more effective vaccine(Lachman, 2006). It even got worse when the patients attempted to getmedication but were prevented at the time of World War II.

At first glance, the research on medicine is based generally onteleology theory that terms an action to be bad or good depending onthe account of probable consequences rather than it actually means(Stripling, 2013). The researchers on this case sought to achievecertain medical results based on the effects it had on the patient,and not in terms of offering medical care to the patients when therewas availability of the medicine. From the medical perspective, theydid bother about the patients’ health care for the purpose ofachieving medical results that according to Lachman (2006) violatesmedical code of ethics. Feldshuh (1995) pointed out that the medicaldoctors Code of Ethics says that doctors should “refrain fromdenying medical treatment to the patient based on discrimination”,which in this case was violated by the whole experimental study.

From personal and professional ethical analysis in this case, by thetime the issue becomes public, hundreds of patients would have diedfrom syphilis and a considerable number of their family members couldhave contracted the disease more so with the availability oftreatment but none acquiring it. This is evidenced by 1932justifications that proposed the start of the study, which were nolonger ethical or relevant (Feldshuh, 1995). More so, from theteleological analysis, the consequences of the 1932 study had becomehorrible followed by the number of the souls lost that could havebeen saved if they could have been offered treatment.

Prominent people whom had a major role, one of them being Miss Evershad been assigned to monitor the study experiment and guarantee thepatients’ cooperation throughout the experiment. As much as she hadsome concerns regarding her requirements and goals, including lack ofinformation on the patients’ conditions and treatment of syphilis,she had a feeling her job and the nurse was only to follow thedoctors’ orders.

According to Lachman (2006), a nurse in regard to Nurses AssociationCode of Ethics is supposed to “protect the public masses fromgetting misinformed and misinterpreted so as to keep the nurses’integrity.” Miss Evers’ in this case violated Code of Ethicsprinciple my misinforming the patients in regard to their medicalconditions and again hide information that there were no availabletreatment for the disease even though penicillin was available.

The significance on the reflection of professionals’ behavior isevidenced by Miss Evers justification that is based on the limitedview of utilitarian philosophy that she believes that participationof these patients could be view as good to them. She also knew thatthere were no availability of medical treatment for syphilis and thatthese people were gaining more based on the best alternativesavailable (Stripling, 2013). Professional ethics in any fieldpresuppose and maintain the validity of every developed practices andthat part of this involves agreeing the core precepts. One difficulthowever fosters modus operandi that is inherently anti-democratic.


Feldshuh, D. (1995). Miss Evers` boys. New York: DramatistsPlay Service.

Lachman, V. D. (2006). Applied ethics in nursing. New York:Springer Pub. Co.

Stripling, M. Y., &amp Stripling, M. Y. (2013). Bioethics andmedical issues in literature.