“Miss Evers’ Boys” by Sargent

The film Miss Evers’ Boys analyzes the US government’s experiment, which affected research participants. The experiment aimed to find an appropriate treatment for the syphilis disease that affected whites and blacks. The film can be analyzed from the ethical framework of “respect for persons”. It is apparent that the government and medical professionals did not respect blacks.

The US government had initiated an experiment named Tuskegee study. The attempt of the experiment was to analyze the behavior of syphilis-affected blacks when compared with whites who were affected by the disease. Interestingly, blacks are not given actual medications. The nurse Miss Evers is aware of the fact that the experiment would affect blacks. The research participants are the friends of Miss Evers. She fails to protect interest of her friends. Over a period, most of the research participants die, as medical professionals do not give them appropriate medical service.

Medical professionals had discovered a treatment for this disease. Despite this discovery, medicines were not given to the research participants. Consequently, blacks, the research participants, had to bear the pain of the ailment. It was decided to discard the experiment after a study revealed its implications for blacks. Judicial intervention compelled the government to review this experiment.

It is obvious that the government and medical professionals failed to demonstrate respect for research participants. Blacks were subjected to inhuman treatment. The film shows discrimination between whites and blacks. The authorities exempted whites from this experiment. This fact revealed that blacks were treated like animals. It is appalling to note that the nurse has failed to become a role model for her subordinates.

It is important to discuss the ethical framework of “respect for others”. It is related to the idea of “respect for persons”. It is the duty of an individual to respect the other person. Philosopher Kant has discussed this ethical principle. According to him, humans should respect other individuals. It is the right of individuals to be valued by others (Yale University, 2006). In the present case, the nurse Evers has failed to respect other persons.

This film shows that modern society has been corrupted. This scenario proves that there has been a decline in human values. Political and military authorities can corrupt an individual. The film depicts a situation where the nurse has been influenced by the government. She has failed to question the intention of the political authority. It is apparent that the nurse has failed to perform her duty as a medical professional.

The ethical principle also relates to the idea of equality. It is important to respect dignity of individuals. According to this principle, all persons are equal before the law and society (Yale University, 2006). As the nurse is corrupted, she fails to respect the principle of equality.

Healthcare professionals, as the leaders, need to become models for their subordinates. The nurse has created a negative impression regarding medical professionals. This behavior can send wrong message to other healthcare professionals. The nurse Evers is a medical professional. She had the responsibility of exhibiting an ethical behavior. The nurse accepts the government decision to treat research participants as objects of exploitation. In this way, the nurse has exhibited unprofessional behavior. Medical professionals should not abuse their leadership position while giving service to the community. They need to exhibit a justifiable ethical behavior.


Yale University. (2006). Respect for persons. Web.

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