Medical Racism

978 Words4 Pages
Originating from sixteen-nineteen, since the start of African American slavery, medical, and scientific racism has become our friend and foe in today's society. It has crept into our daily lives some of us not even realizing it. We often think that racism only refers to the black race, but in general, it can happen to just anyone of any race, not one particular race. According to the Encyclopedia of race and racism, medical and scientific racism can occur in four ways. It can occur on a conceptual level, institutional level, in medical settings, and in society. Being born a certain race can immediately determine your future in the name of science.
How does medical and scientific racism take place on a conceptual level? Medical and scientific
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Interest in medical and scientific racism dates back to the year 1864, before the end of the Civil war. During this time, a study was launched to quantify the bodies of Union soldiers. This study relied on the help of a spirometer- a medical instrument that measures lung capacity. This study served as a marker of difference backing the belief system that the black body was suitable only for fieldwork. While white soldiers were classified as having a higher lung capacity, black soldiers were classified as having a lower lung capacity. Not only has scientist used lungs to racially determines one’s identity, but also skull size to determine one’s morality and…show more content…
For example, some people believe that the black race originated from gorillas, causing false prejudice towards the black race.Not only have our stereotypes blind us as members of society to commit crimes of medical and scientific racism, but our judgments.
Nevertheless, medical and scientific racism may never go away. In the Story The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Henrietta had to travel twenty miles to John Hopkins hospital, because it was the only one that would treat her under Jim Crow laws. Due to these sorts of racial discriminations in the medical and scientific setting, minorities have a higher death rate than the majorities in the United States. It is because of the mistrust of healthcare providers, and the lack of health insurance.
Although Henrietta Lacks helped cure different diseases and viruses, without informed consent, her family was suffering. Just like the victims of the Tuskegee study, Henrietta was also a poor patient. Scientist and healthcare providers like to take advantage of the poor for their research. “The research subjects didn't ask questions. They were poor and uneducated, and the researchers offered incentives: free physical exams, hot meals, and rides into town on clinic days, plus fifty-dollar burial stipends for their families when the men died,” (Skloot
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