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Medical Apartheid

Racism entails the belief that some races are superior to others in society. From as early as the colonial era, racism in the United States of America has been a crucial issue. Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Mexican etc were all considered as the minority groups. Racism has many forms. However, no one is born a racist. This develops from the environment from which children grow into. Washington exposed the mistreatments and injustice African Americans were exposed to in an attempt to make advancement s in the world of medicine. Through her meticulous research, she unraveled the unethical practices early doctors practiced in order to find answers to ailments that were problematic to the white race.

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Washington, in her book, talks about the advancements, experienced in medicine. The setting of the book is during the slave era when doctors had permission to experiment on slaves. Washington depicts doctors as unfriendly and evil where they used other humans to perform experiments without considering the implication of their actions. During that era, whites were considered superior to blacks; the experiments conducted only improved their lives, as opposed to the black person’s life. The black Americans have suffered for a long time as a result of poor health issues that up to date have never been solved. As Washington states in her book, the past discrimination against the African Americans has been the key cause of unequal levels of health services and treatment experienced today.

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Racism in America has been a crucial issue ever since the slave and the colonial era. Legally endorsed racial discrimination imposed a grave burden on African Americans, Native Americans, Mexican Americans, and Asian Americans. The main racially structured institutions at the time included Indian wars, slavery, segregation, Native American reservations, internment camps and residential schools (for Native Americans. In America, official racial bias was largely prohibited in the mid-20th century; moreover, it came to be viewed as socially intolerable.  However, racial politics remained a vital phenomenon in American territory. Historical racism up to date has continued to be perceived in socio-economic inequality. Nevertheless, racial stratification continued to take place in all avenues, in society including government, housing, employment, housing, lending, and education and health sectors. As is the case in most countries, many people in the United States of America continue to harbor some discrimination against individuals from other races. Discrimination infiltrates almost all aspects of life in America, and it further extends to all communities of color.

Washington in her book focuses in the theme of poverty and racial discrimination. Here, the slaves were poor African Americans who had no voice in the society. She talks about the sharecroppers who at one time suffered from Syphilis but did not get any treatment because they were black. She also talks about how black people were perceived as useless, and the whites purchased them from market places for the sole purpose of experimentation. These doctors exposed the blacks to radiation, fire and all sorts of deadly substances for the sake of progressing medicine. The most chilling study conducted was that of Dr. J. Marion Sims. The Alabama surgeon was the first to repair gynecological fistulae. This was an extremely painful condition that affected women and made them lose bladder control. To achieve this, he constantly experimented on slave women without using anesthesia during the surgeries. The African Americans were always associated with poverty. This is because they were brought into America as slaves to work in plantations. This mentality held on in the minds of men, and up to date, racism is still prevalent in America.

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Another theme brought out in the book is malpractice where doctors use their mandate to exploit their patients. The slaves were experimented on, and some of them eventually died. This brought about distrust between the white doctors and the black patients. This has continued over the years up to date.

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