Reflections on race and racism in bioethics: Is there a way forward? (The Daniel W. Foster, M.D., Visiting Lectureship in Medical Ethics)
King, Patricia A.
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[Note: The slide presentation is not available from this event.] The concept of race emerged in the United States to explain observable differences among human beings. Physicians, scientists and others used this concept to support beliefs about inherent biological differences between Americans, who trace their ancestry to African slaves, and whites and the "inherent superiority" of whites over blacks. These beliefs provided support for slavery and segregation, continue to reinforce negative stereotypes, and foster implicit bias about blacks and black health down to the present. Nonetheless, the field of bioethics has tended in its deliberations about issues in health care, health science and health policy to ignore the implications of persistent racism embedded in the norms, practices and institutional structures of these fields. What are possible explanations for this failure? Is there a way forward?