Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present
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.
Frightening Look into the Minds of the Heartless
By Richard Pugh "Will Read" - March 28, 2007
Harriet Washington has created an extensive investigative body of work that reveals the inhumane treatment of a people unprovenly regarded as less than by those who have proved themselves to be less than. One wonders why God would grant anyone dominion over the earth and all that dwells upon it, but Medical Apartheid indentifies those who take to heart that particular verse and chapter and illustrates how they consider no one and nothing exempt from the horrors of their demonic thinking. From surgical procedures with neither consent nor notification to the withholding of treatment for the sake of science, this book reveals the price so many African-Americans have paid in the name of medical advancement-without compensation or an acknowledgment of gratitude from the medical community.
This book should be mandatory reading for all.
Medical Testing Gone Amuck
By John Matlock "Gunny" - April 4, 2007
The opening salvo was the press reporting on the so called Tuskegee experiments, in which black syphilitic men were studied but not treated. This book gives the most complete description of the Tuskegee experiments I've seen as it makes this study the centerpiece of medical experimentation where one race was selectied out as the subjects.
From there, unfortunagely, it goes on to show that this was not an abberation but a practice that goes back to slave days. It gives the stories of experiment after experiment that were conducted the same way with predominately black subjects.
The book concentrates on experiments conducted on black Americans and goes on to describe the ongoing, perhaps everlasting suspicion that these experiments have left in the minds of black America towards the medical profession.
This is a fitting subject for a book, but while reading I was reminded of the other famous medical experimentation incidents such as the German... read more
Medical Apartheid: What You Never Learned in School
By Janis Wiley - February 11, 2007
Medical Apartheid is a must read for anyone interested in social justice issues. While Washington's work may be the catalyst for the long awaited national apology, the researched accounts of U.S. atrocities deserve and require far more. This book should become required reading in our educational institutions regardless of one's pursued field of study. The U.S. must tell the truth about its past and those it has ceremoniously honored and attempted to destroy. Harriet Washington has done just that.