Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Jan 8, 2008 - History - 528 pages
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NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER • The first full history of Black America’s shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment. No one concerned with issues of public health and racial justice can afford not to read this masterful book.

"[Washington] has unearthed a shocking amount of information and shaped it into a riveting, carefully documented book." —New York Times

From the era of slavery to the present day, starting with the earliest encounters between Black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, Medical Apartheid 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. 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.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bookwyrmm - LibraryThing

The history in this book is so shocking and thought-provoking, and now that we are in the middle of COVID-19, I would love to see an updated version dealing with the inequality around this pandemic. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TLCrawford - LibraryThing

After reading medical history for a few years I have become accustomed to the fact that until about 200 years ago physicians offered nothing more than comfort and false hope. Thanks to Harriet ... Read full review

Contents

PART
1
PART
8
PART 3
19
What Really
75
The Eugenic Control of African American
189
Radiation Experiments on African Americans
216
Research on Black Prisoners
244
Research Targets Young
271
African American Martyrs to Surgical Technology
347
American Bioterrorism Targets Blacks
359
Medical Research with Blacks Today
385
APPENDIX
405
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
407
NOTES
413
BIBLIOGRAPHY
465
INDEX
485

The Rise of Molecular Bias
299
Illness as Crime
325

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About the author (2008)

HARRIET A. WASHINGTON has been a fellow in ethics at the Harvard Medical School, a fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, and a senior research scholar at the National Center for Bioethics at Tuskegee University. As a journalist and editor, she has worked for USA Today and several other publications, been a Knight Fellow at Stanford University and has written for such academic forums as the Harvard Public Health Review and The New England Journal of Medicine. She is the recipient of several prestigious awards for her work. Washington lives in New York City.

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