Caring for Diverse and Vulnerable Populations

South University-High Point
NSG3068: Caring for Diverse and Vulnerable Populations I
Spring, 2021

Ethics Assignment

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Purpose of Assignment:

 To evaluate the ethical components of nursing and to utilize the American Public Health Association Code of Ethics and the Florence Nightingale Pledge to evaluate the ethical or non-ethical actions of a nurse during the Tuskegee Experiment.


In 1932, the Tuskegee experiment began in Macon County, Alabama.  At the time, syphilis, contagious venereal disease, had no know treatment and the experiment was meant to study the full progression of the disease.  Promised free medical care, a total of 600 African American men were recruited for the study.

Many of the participants were sharecroppers and had not received care from a doctor previously.  Of the 600 recruits, 399 were positive for latent syphilis and 201 did not have syphilis and was used at the control group.  The study was ran by physicians from the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) and participants were told they were being treated for “bad blood,” which was terminology commonly used in the area to refer to a variety of ailments.

About 15 years into the study, in 1947, it was recommended to treat syphilis with penicillin.  However, the participants were given placebos like aspirin and mineral supplements and PHS researchers convinced local physicians not to treat the research participants.  The research was continued at the Tuskegee Institute.

Because the original goal of the experiment was to study and track the disease’s full progression, the participants were not given effective care and proceeded to die, go blind, insane or experienced other severe health problems from untreated syphilis. In the mid-1960s, was when someone first recognized that the study was unethical.  However, a committee reviewed the study, allowed it to continue with the goal of tracking all participants until all of them had died and autopsies could be performed to collect data.  It wasn’t until the story was leaked to a reporter for the Associated Press and the story was published in July of 1972 that the study was forced to shut down.  By that time, 28 participants had died from syphilis, 100 died from related complications, at least 40 spouses of the participants had been diagnosed with it and it was passed at birth to 19 children of the participants.

In 1973, a settlement was reached of $10 million dollars that was awarded to the surviving participants or their heirs.  It also initiated new guidelines to protect human subjects in U.S. government-funded research projects. However, there was still a lingering, deep mistrust of the public health officials and vaccines.  In part to foster racial healing, President Bill Clinton issued a 1997 apology, stating, “The United States government did something that was wrong—deeply, profoundly, morally wrong… It is not only in remembering that shameful past that we can make amends and repair our nation, but it is in remembering that past that we can build a better present and a better future.”

Assignment Instructions:

For this assignment, you need to review and familiarize yourself with Florence Nightingale’s Pledge and the American Public Health Association Code of Ethics.

After reviewing the pledge and code, you will need to watch Miss Evers’ Boys.  This movie is based on the true story of the infamous Tuskegee experiment and follows a nurse named Miss Evers’ as she provides care and treatment to the participants of the Tuskegee experiment.

TO ACCESS MOVIE:  Utilize the Amazon Prime Video app or use this link
Login information:

Click on South University Profile.  Movie is in the Watchlist.

After watching the movie, you will need to write a paper addressing the following questions.

  1. Why do you think the filmmakers began the movie with the Florence Nightingale pledge? How did Nurse Evers uphold or violate this pledge?
  2. Using the American Public Health Association Code of Ethics, discuss at least 2 sections of the Code and how Nurse Evers acted within or violated those sections.
  3. What advice would you offer Nurse Evers if she asked how you would have handled her situation?

Technical Requirements:

Paper should be in APA format double-spaced, Times New Romans font and 2 pages in length not including title page and reference page.



Ethics Assignment Grading Rubric

Category No Evidence Does Not Meet Standard Nearly Meets Standard Meets Standard Exceeds Standard Score
Introduction No introduction paragraph present.






There is no clear introduction or main topic and the structure of the paper is missing.




The introduction states the main topic but does not adequately preview the structure of the paper.



The introduction states the main topic and previews the structure of the paper.





The introduction is engaging, states the main topic and previews the structure of the paper.



Body of Paper Not Applicable.






Each paragraph fails to develop the main idea.





Each paragraph lacks supporting detailed sentences.




Each paragraph has sufficient supporting detail sentences that develop the main idea.



Each paragraph has thoughtful, supporting detail sentences that develop the main idea.



Conclusion No conclusion present.





Conclusion is incomplete and/or unfocused.




The conclusion does not adequately restate the purpose of the paper.



The conclusion restates the purpose of the paper.





The conclusion is engaging and restates the purpose of the paper.



Relevance of Insights and Ideas No relevance of insights or ideas with purpose of assignment.




Relevance and insights are poorly developed and poorly support the purpose of the assignment.



Relevance and insights support the purpose of the assignment but are not adequately developed.



Relevance and insights support the purpose of the assignment and are not adequately developed.




Relevance and insights support the purpose of the assignment and are thoughtfully developed.



Organization and Structure Not Applicable.









No evidence of structure of organization.







Logical organization; organization of ideas is not fully developed.







Paragraph development present but not perfected.








Writer demonstrates logical and subtle sequencing of ideas through well-developed paragraphs; transition are used to enhance organization.



Usage and  Mechanics Not applicable.








Numerous and distracting errors in punctuation, capitalization, spelling, sentence structure and/or word usage.



Many errors in punctuation, capitalization, spelling, sentence structure and/or word usage.




Almost no errors in punctuation, capitalization, spelling, sentence structure and/or word usage.




No errors in punctuation, capitalization, spelling, sentence structure and/or word usage.




Use and Credibility of Appropriate Sources Absent.









Few cited works and/or in the incorrect format.  Missing one or more required works.






Some cited works and/or in the incorrect format.  Missing one required work.






Some cited works in the correct format.  Both required works are cited.







All cited works are done in the correct format with no errors. Both required works are cited and other works used to enhance paper.



APA Format APA format is not present.  Missing Title page or reference page.







Errors in APA style detract substantially from the paper.  Word choice is informal in tone.  Writing is choppy, with many awkward or unclear passages.



Errors in APA style are noticeable.  Word choice occasionally informal in tone.  Writing has a few awkward or unclear passages.




Rare errors in APA style that do not detract from the paper. Scholarly style.  Writing has minimal awkward or unclear passages.





No errors in APA style.  Scholarly style.  Writing is flowing and easy to follow.









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