Medical Apartheid by Harriet A. Washington
The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present

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Synopsis

National Book Critics Circle Award Winner (Nonfiction)
PEN/Oakland Award Winner
BCALA Nonfiction Award Winner
Gustavus Meyers Award Winner

From the era of slavery to the present day, the first full history of black America’s shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment.

Medical Apartheid is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans. Starting with the earliest encounters between black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, it details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge—a tradition that continues today within some black populations. It reveals how blacks have historically been prey to grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of blacks, and the view that they were biologically inferior, oversexed, and unfit for adult responsibilities. Shocking new details about the government’s notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions.
The product of years of prodigious research into medical journals and experimental reports long undisturbed, Medical Apartheid reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and makes possible, for the first time, an understanding of the roots of the African American health deficit. At last, it provides the fullest possible context for comprehending the behavioral fallout that has caused black Americans to view researchers—and indeed the whole medical establishment—with such deep distrust. No one concerned with issues of public health and racial justice can afford not to read Medical Apartheid, a masterful book that will stir up both controversy and long-needed debate.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Harriet A. Washington

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Harriet A. Washington is the author of Medical Apartheid, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award, the 2007 PEN Oakland Award, and the 2007 American Library Association Black Caucus Nonfiction Award. She has been a fellow in medical ethics at the Harvard Medical School, a senior research scholar at the National Center for Bioethics at Tuskegee University, a fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, and the recipient of a John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford University.
 
Published January 8, 2008 by Anchor. 530 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Medical Apartheid

Kirkus Reviews

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While the worst abuses have been eliminated, Washington concludes, African-American skepticism about the medical establishment and reluctance to participate in medical research is an unfortunate result.

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The New York Times

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In the so-called Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital case of 1963, for instance, prominent researchers injected live cancer cells into nursing home residents, some of whom were Holocaust survivors, to determine whether the immune systems of sick individuals could identify and eliminate foreign cancer...

Feb 18 2007 | Read Full Review of Medical Apartheid: The Dark H...

PopMatters

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present is an eye-opening journey that meticulously documents the “scientific racism” associated with medical treatment of black Americans.

Jan 18 2007 | Read Full Review of Medical Apartheid: The Dark H...

Los Angeles Times

Medical Apartheid is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans.

Dec 02 2011 | Read Full Review of Medical Apartheid: The Dark H...

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