Thursday, February 15, 2007

Medical Apartheid

" "Medical Apartheid" starts with the chilling story of John (Fed) Brown, an escaped slave in 1855 who recalled his owner, a doctor, causing blisters on his arms and legs to see "how deep his black skin went." The study, if that's the word for it, had no therapeutic value. It reflected a distorted fascination with the outward appearance of African-Americans at a time when racial differences were thought to be much more than skin deep.

"One thing that surprised me," Washington told NEWSWEEK, "was the brutal honesty of the doctors' notes. There was no hiding their racist views. They made it clear how they felt about African-Americans and saw no problem with what they were doing. They were proud to write it down."

"But perhaps the most egregious case Washington documents involved a study conducted in New York from 1988 to 2001, in which a city agency tested potentially dangerous AIDS drugs on African-American foster children with HIV, often without permission of their parents. The children were 6 months of age and younger. "Eighty percent of the children in foster care in New York are black," says Washington, "and many of them have parents who aren't available to them because of drugs or whatever. They're perfect victims." "

Newsweek article: Medical Apartheid

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