Syphilis study’s de­scen­dants seek funds

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — De­scen­dants of hun­dreds of black men who were left un­treated for syphilis dur­ing a gov­ern­ment study want a judge to give them any money re­main­ing from a $9 mil­lion le­gal set­tle­ment over the pro­gram.

The head of an or­ga­ni­za­tion for de­scen­dants of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study said the money could help fund col­lege schol­ar­ships the group pro­vides, and mem­bers would like to de­velop a memo­rial gar­den ded­i­cated to the men.

Some of the funds also could go to a county-owned mu­seum lo­cated in Tuskegee that has sep­a­rately re­quested the funds, but the de­ci­sion should be up to the de­scen­dants, said Lil­lie Tyson Head, pres­i­dent of the Voices of our Fathers Le­gacy Foun­da­tion.

“It was meant to go to the de­scen­dants in the first place,” Head, who lives in Vir­ginia, said in an in­ter­view Fri­day.

The Voices group has sent a let­ter to U.S. Dis­trict Judge My­ron Thomp­son ask­ing him to with­hold a de­ci­sion on the money un­til they have time to hire a lawyer and file doc­u­ments in the long-run­ning, class-ac­tion law­suit over the study.

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