"The 40-year study was controversial for reasons related to ethical standards, primarily because researchers knowingly failed to treat patients appropriately after the 1940s validation of penicillin as an effective cure for the disease they were studying."
The problem were NEVER the first 8 years, but the 32 afterward.
That said , I am part of the (apparently small) population which think evidence based medicine is the way to go, and the "natural cure" "homeopathy" bullshit should be regulated to hell the same way normal medicine is. Why should they have a apss right if they CLAIm to have an effect. They should get the 10 years study phase I,II,III,IV , and all the burden of following side effect and adding them etc... But when researcher/doctor blow it up, then it should not ever be minimized. Again , with the tuskegee study the ethical problem were that 32 years after a cure was found , it was not sued to help those people, and in fact they were not even told they were contaminated, potentially spreading teh disease to other. At the latets by 1947 when penicillin had become a standard treatment something should have been done. And the next 25 years ? NOTHING was done.
In addition, scientists prevented participants from accessing syphilis treatment programs available to others in the area. The study continued, under numerous US Public Health Service supervisors, until 1972, when a leak to the press eventually resulted in its termination on November 16. The victims of the study included numerous men who died of syphilis, wives who contracted the disease, and children born with congenital syphilis.
Do not EVER minimize the impact of malicious blunder (it cannot be unintentional when treatment and help and information was *withdrawn* when it was made available in other area so forget the "do not attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity" it was intentional and it was done to study effects forgoing the health of the patient. Pure malice). As soonas you minimize malicious blunder, you give ammunition to the idiot anti vax, natural cure, homeopathic crowd.