Dorothy Roberts: The problem with race-based medicine
Dorothy Roberts - Professor, author and social justice advocate
Global scholar, University of Pennsylvania civil rights sociologist and law professor Dorothy Roberts exposes the myths of race-based medicine. Full bio
to participate in a research study
asked me to check a box for my race:
how to answer the question.
with my social identity,
were interested in investigating
and the risk for certain genetic traits?
something about my ancestry,
scientific findings about my genes
as a black woman?
a black woman with a white father
with a black mother
importance of this question
you identify yourself."
in the results of a study
with the use of race in genetic testing
to make false biological predictions?
throughout all of medical practice.
the more disturbed I became.
white, Asian, Native American, Latina,
that have changed over time
definitions of races.
of social scientists.
of the human genome
ceremony in June 2000?
of genetic difference
the Human Genome Project
is the human race."
to join the genomic revolution.
by race lags far behind.
of kidney function, by race.
in the blood of the patient,
a different GFR estimate
the patient is African-American.
have more muscle mass
than that female bodybuilder?
of individual patients
they're using race as a shortcut.
like muscle mass,
no relevant information at all.
the clinical measures.
they might have --
than the patient's race.
for these important clinical measures
race is just one of many factors
Asian patients differently
patients of color especially vulnerable
are twice as likely
feel less pain,
approved a race-specific medicine.
without regard to race or genetics,
for some unknown genetic factor
the dangerous message it sent,
are so substandard,
to work in other patients.
marketing scheme failed.
were understandably wary
in a community meeting and shouted,
people are taking!"
during the slavery era,
of Pennsylvania Medical School.
before the Civil War,
on what was then called "Negro medicine."
suffer from different diseases
common diseases differently.
for black people
have lower lung capacity than whites,
sent to the brain
when under the white man's control,
of red vital blood
and barbarism when in freedom."
Cartwright helped to perfect
called the spirometer
in black people's lungs.
uphold Cartwright's claim
than white people.
according to his or her race.
called "correcting for race."
extends far beyond misdiagnosing patients.
racial differences in disease
racial gaps in health:
to high-quality medical care;
of racial discrimination.
these health disparities
of social inequality on people's health.
the answer to these gaps in health
inequities that produce them.
about ending race medicine
a false and toxic view of humanity.
in medicine we've been learning about,
stopped treating patients by race?
the most advanced knowledge
into biological races?
as a crude proxy
and addressed that more important factor?
the structural inequities
interpretation of humanity.
that truly divide us.
About the speaker:Dorothy Roberts - Professor, author and social justice advocate
Global scholar, University of Pennsylvania civil rights sociologist and law professor Dorothy Roberts exposes the myths of race-based medicine.
Why you should listen
Internationally recognized scholar, public intellectual and social justice advocate Dorothy Roberts studies the interplay of gender, race and class in legal issues. She has been a leader in transforming public thinking and policy on reproductive health, child welfare and bioethics.
Professor of Africana Studies, Law & Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, Dorothy directs the Penn Program on Race, Science and Society. She has authored and co-edited ten books, including the award-winning Killing the Black Body and Shattered Bonds. Her latest book is Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century. She received the 2015 Solomon Carter Fuller Award from the American Psychiatric Association for "providing significant benefit for the quality of life for Black people."
Dorothy Roberts | Speaker | TED.com