THE KENNEDY HEARINGS
“We in the Congress, and the American people generally, have the most overriding responsibility to see that to the extent that justice can be done for the people that are affected by this study, it should be done. This subcommittee intends to fulfill that responsibility in every way that we possibly can.”
- Senator Edward Kennedy, in the Hearings on Human Experimentation (1973)
In 1973, the Subcommittee on Health of the Committee of Labor and Public Welfare investigated the Tuskegee Syphilis experiment. Led by Senator Edward Kennedy, the subcommittee heard voices from all perspectives of the study.
Click on images below for excerpts from various testimonies
"THE NATIONAL RESEARCH ACT OF 1974"
"The National Research Act of 1974"
Introduced by the Kennedy hearings, Congress approved the National Research Act, which "provid[ed] for the protection of human subjects involved in biomedical and behavioral research for other purposes". By doing so Congress approved the creation of the "National Advisory Council for the Protection of Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research," the first national body to officially influence bioethics in the U.S.
"The Council shall advise, consult with, and make recommendations to the Secretary concerning all matters pertaining to the protection of human subjects of biomedical and behavioral research; review policies, regulations, and other requirements of the Secretary governing such research ... and review periodically changes in the scope, purpose, and types of biomedical and behavioral research being conducted and the impact such changes have on the policies, regulations, and other requirements of the Secretary for the protection of human subjects of such research."
- National Research Act (1974)