The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present

By Harriet A. Washington

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sharon w
Great book to read. A lot of information given that I was not aware of. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to know about our history and is into medicine. It's a great way to read on how medicine was incorrectly used.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
julie leblanc
This book is written for scholars. Reading it is hard if you are not highly educated. I have to stop and look up words constantly as I read this book. It is interesting but too scholarly for the average reader.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lexa hillyer
This book was pretty eye-opening. I'm too young to remember Tuskegee and I grew up in the North so I've never felt very racially divided, so this book was very informative. When I was reading this book, I recommended it to everyone I could. It is a 'should read' not a must read, but if you are interested in medicine, research or just racial injustice, this will be a good read. As the book goes on it does seem like the author was kinda grasping for her theories to hold true in all of these situations. I am aware of inequalities in treatment towards people of different colors (and I'm really sorry that it's a reality), but I don't believe it is as prevalent as the author makes it out to be.
The Extraordinary Story of the Woman Who Saved 2 - 500 Children from the Warsaw Ghetto :: The Sign of the Beaver :: The Witch of Blackbird Pond :: Inside Out and Back Again :: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This is such an important read for anyone interested in the history of black folks in the US and how the white population has continually oppressed the black population in cruel and gruesome ways. Washington is an amazing writer - even though she is writing about history (which can sometimes be a bit of a bore to read), she writes in a way that makes the text easy to read and understand, and make you want to keep reading. I also really liked how she focused on the prison system as a tool of medical oppression of the black community, because this point is often overlooked by a lot of scholars who decidedly chose not to pay attention to the prison population. Good book, great information!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
This book is Amazing! Certainly one of the most important books I've read. The quality of the book I received in the mail, however, is another story. About half way through, the print gets cut off, so I bought this copy and it's totally unreadable. Extremely disappointed.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
buttons blonde
I really wanted to like this book. As an undergraduate, I did my own research into medical racism, so of course I was drawn to potentially learning more about the abhorrent medical experimentation on black Americans.

However, the author got so many medical facts downright wrong that I'm not sure I can trust the vast majority of the research described in here.
For example:
- p. 120-121: Washington describes how anthropologists determined the age and sex of skeletons unearthed from beneath the Medical College of Georgia. She claims age can be determined from the bones of the hand and wrist - these bones are never used to determine age of skeletal remains. Further, she erroneously purports "gender" can be ascertained from the pelvic bones, flouting the basic medical (and journalistic!) distinction between biological "sex" and socially determined "gender."
- p. 154: The author speaks of deficiencies among black Americans in "...niacin, an essential amino acid." Niacin is a vitamin, not an amino acid nor even an amino acid derivative.
- (page number lost): She, at one point, refers to a "hormone" named "lutenin." There is no such hormone. It's called "lutenizing hormone" and "lutenin" is not, nor has ever been, a nickname for that.
- p. 295: When speaking about vaccination, the author touts, "...highly publicized theories link vaccination to everything from autism to sudden death..." The "highly publicized" research linking autism to vaccines has been debunked repeatedly, was based on severely flawed research, and is unsupported by a vast majority of the medical community. Despite this book's propensity for criticizing poorly designed and even malicious "scientific" studies, the author fails to recognize the original research "study" linking autism and vaccines as one of the most highly flawed in recent years.

The author initially seems to have a impressive vocabulary. However, this is quickly overshadowed by the needless redundancy which weighs down nearly every page of this book. I understand the need to hammer in the point that black individuals were and continue to be exploited within the medical field. However, it is unnecessary to say this five times in a row in slightly different ways every several paragraphs. The truth in this point would much more effectively be driven in with actual facts and historical illustrations.

Washington also makes the mistake of juxtaposing medical studies from vastly different decades and eras. There is no chronology to any of the chapters and the author carelessly jumps between references from the 1950's and those from the 1990's and 2000's.

Finally, citations are few and far between, perhaps given only two to three times on a page.

Overall, this book had great potential, but given the downfalls I listed here, I had to stop reading before the final section. I felt as if I couldn't effectively and accurately learn about this subject when Washington's research is full of so many holes, inconsistencies, and errors.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brian rubinton
Harriet Washington has written one of the most moving, most riveting and most powerful books on racism, and on the history of medicine, that I have ever read. What is described in its pages goes well beyond apartheid in its depravity: "Medical Holocaust" would have been a more apt and accurate title, and it is a very dark tale indeed.

Ms. Washington's work opens with a description of how in New York's Central Park, amidst a setting of particular beauty and opposite the New York Academy of Medicine, there stands a bronze, larger-than-life statue of James Marion Sims, MD (1813-1883) founder of the New York Women's Hospital and one of the fathers of modern gynecological surgery. Similar tributes to Sims' skill and contributions to women's health stand before the South Carolina Legislative Assembly as well as that state's medical school.

Sims' benevolent image stands in harsh contrast with the truth, a truth more clearly embodied in painting than in sculpture. Robert Thom's oil painting entitled "J. Marion Sims, Gynecologic Surgeon" depicts a grim-faced Sims, standing aloof with arms folded, holding in one hand a vaginal speculum as he regards the kneeling black woman before him with a coolly evaluative gaze: she is Betsy, a powerless girl and Sims' slave. His tie and morning coat contrast with her slave's dress, head rag and bare feet. A horror worthy of Auschwitz's Josef Mengele is about to unfold.

Each surgery performed by Sims was an experiment, conducted without the consent of its subject and victim, a violent struggle between slave and master and each woman's body would become a bloodied battleground. Each of the naked, unanesthetized slave woman (young girls in many cases) had to be forcibly restrained by other surgeons through her shrieks of agony as Sims, a monster, determinedly sliced and then sutured her genitalia. The other surgeons fled when they could no longer bear the horrific scenes, and it fell to the slave women to restrain one another. It gets nightmarishly worse: in order to test a hypothesis about the causes of trismus in infants, Sims performed experiments where he used a shoemaker's awl to manipulate the skull bones of babies born to enslaved women.

Was Sims a savior or a sadist, made of the stuff of Mother Theresa or Dr. Mengele?

It may depend on the color of the women you ask. Not until he had for decades performed distressingly intimate and unimaginably painful vaginal surgeries on black women did he dare to undertake to operate on white females.

The story of Dr. Sims is but one small link (if an especially horrifying one) in the century-spanning chain of medicine's utilization of a silenced, compliant and vulnerable population to serve as the raw material making its progress possible, and Ms. Washington tells many such tales from America's founding, through the era of slavery down to the present day: the slave appropriated by physicians for experimental surgeries, the impoverished clinic patient operated upon to devise or improve a surgical technique, the sharecropper whose body is spirited away from the morgue for dissection, the young girl whose fertility is stolen via a "Mississippi appendectomy" (involuntary sterilization), and countless soldiers, prisoners, students, the very young and the aged without options when government physicians and researchers foisted novel, dangerous and destructive procedures upon them. As late as 1995, radiation scientist Clarence Lushbaugh MD explained that he and his research partner Eugene Saenger MD chose "slum-dwellers" as radiation subjects because "these persons don't have any money and they're black and they're poorly washed." Other illustrations of such shocking researcher honesty, insensitivity and criminality abound.

Medical Apartheid is to this reviewer's knowledge the first comprehensive history of black America's shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment.

The book consists of fifteen chapters, organized into three sections. Part one, "A Troubling Tradition," takes a chronological approach to the role of African Americans in early American medicine stressing the exploitation of blacks up to the Tuskegee syphilis study of the 1930s. Part two, "The Usual Subjects," covers the period from the early 20th century up to the present day and analyzes the situation of the most vulnerable of subjects, viz., black children, military personnel and hospital patients. Part three, "Race, Technology and Medicine" examines contemporary research issues such as genetic research, emerging diseases and bioterrorism. In the epilogue, "Medical Research with Blacks Today," the author discusses how the grossest abuses have been replaced with more subtle threats to patient rights and informed choice.

This book was written in the face of active hostility by the author's white colleagues, fellow researchers and medical school faculty who continued in the face of contrary documentary and physical evidence to dispute the fact that research on involuntary black subjects occurred before and after the Tuskegee phenomenon.

For that reason, as well as for Ms. Washington's superlative writing, this is a book that must be read by everyone, lay and professional alike, concerned with health, medicine, medical research or the struggle for civil rights and racial equality and reconciliation.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
arianna jones
Throughout the course of reading this, I received many inquires as to what I was reading and the nature of the book. After my response, there was frequently a heavy sigh or awkward pause from the person who initially posed the inquiry. However, contrary to what those superficial reactions would suggest, this is a well-written, engaging, and above all, very important work of nonfiction.

I did find some chapters more compelling then others. Standout chapters included: "Southern Discomfort: Medical Exploitation on the Plantation"; "Profitable Wonders: Antebellum Medical Experimentation with Slaves and Freedmen"; "Circus Africanus: The Popular Display of Black Bodies"; "The Surgical Theater: Black Bodies in the Antebellum Clinic"; "The Restless Dead: Anatomical Dissection and Display"; "A Notoriously Syphilis-Soaked Race: What Really Happened at Tuskegee"; "Nuclear Winter: Radiation Experiments on African Americans"; and "Caged Subjects: Research on Black Prisoners." The weaker chapters, in my opinion, tended to be filled with more conclusion statements regarding mistreatment and "told" the reader what the issues are, instead of "showing", though historical details, case studies, and referenced statistics, the elements more prevalent in the stronger, more compelling chapters.

I often find it useful to know the demographics of other readers who have read and enjoyed a particular book- I have a psychology undergraduate degree and a law degree with a special focus on the indigenous peoples law; because of my formal educational background, my current position is as a civil rights and education law attorney, and my personal interests include reading books on law and sociology. I had originally checked this book out from the library, but found it to be a book that I wanted to share with others, leading to my eventual purchase of the book. While this book in 2016 has some sections that may read a bit outdated, the majority of this book will be useful for years to come.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I would've given book 5 stars but it is a college text book and a bit difficult to understand at times. The author's vocabulary went far beyond anyone else's I've ever seen. With that being said, it is a major eye-opener; you may read many things that you've never heard of before
(while hoping to never hear of again). It's a depressing account of how African Americans have been medically abused over the centuries
right up to, and including, today. Names, dates, documents, photos are included and even the smallest details have not been left out. I would highly recommend this book to anyone seeking truth, as well as, anyone open to getting a deeper sense of how people of color have
suffered at the hands of white "medical professionals."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
valerie hedges
As an individual who has worked in the medical field for many years, I am disappointed that this book was NEVER included/recommended/excerpted from (with permissions) or even referenced in ANY of the training that I received for the many courses that I completed specific to clinical research or medicine. Also, given the fact that apparently many physicians still think that African-American patients experience less pain than Caucasian patients, this book should be REQUIRED reading for ALL medical students.

Difficult book to read, but very important to do so, for anyone working in medicine - or anyone who feels it necessary to visit a traditional doctor for treatment (doctor is NOT always right, and the balance of power in the patient doctor relationship is certainly skewed in one direction for all patients - probably more for some than others).

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sara jones
this book is the straight up Truth. i mean going to the doctors and whatnot and being Black its a whole different exprience. you get talked to first can you pay? then you get told what is wrong with you because you are Black and this and that. so much stereotyping politics even before you get into why you are there. of course the history of this country and taken care fo Balck patients is a Horror film all unto itself. Arthur Ashe spoke about being Black and dealing with the doctors and so forth in his Book and this Book goes even further. very well researched and put together and it is the stone cold truth. you ain't ever going to read this in Schools, go pick up a couple of copies one for you and the other for a friend and read it completely because this book is all on the real about what really goes done.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jean pierre
I bought this book last year about this time because I was in the midst of writing a M.A. Thesis focused on racial differences in trust in the patient-physician relationship. I read the first and seventh chapters and put the book down because my stomach was deeply disturbed by the books' contents. I was disappointed that the terms, "trust," "distrust," or "mistrust" were not indexed in the back of the book. Nonetheless, I decided ind to put the book on the list for my qualifying exams--it was to my knowledge the most comprehensive assessment of race and medical experimentation written to date.

I finished reading the book from start to finish last week. I was deeply impressed that Washington was able to cover the breadth of history without shortchanging the respect due to the grave matters dealt within between the covers of Medical Apartheid. Some critics of the book have stated that they are unsure whether she is accurately portraying the truth of the history of medical research. Others suggest that her emotions may have guided the presentation of the material. My review will be directed to such responses of the book.

I myself had doubts initially. The things I began reading about last December were too grotesque for them to have actually happened and the dispassion characterizing the medical researchers who went about their work is at odds with the Hippocratic Oath that is supposedly the center of Western medicine. However, more recent work by Steven Epstein (2007) on the social movement that yielded the NIH Revitalization Act of 1994 and more dated work by Laurel Baldwin-Ragaven, Jeanelle de Gruchy, and Leslie London (1999) on the unethical behavior of South African doctors during this country's apartheid era confirm many of the facts and conclusions Washington herself puts forth in Medical Apartheid.

Even with the research I had done on the roots of medical mistrust among blacks, this book came as a shock to me. First, it demonstrates in a measured manner a persistent pattern of unethical behavior by American scientists and doctors in a wide range of activities (it's not just about graverobbing). This is a rebuttal to the over-reliance of those who perceive that the Tuskegee Syphilis Study is "the" reason for blacks' aversion to doctors and hospitals. Instead, the devaluation of the bodies of socially marginalized racial groups can be seen in every aspect of medicine, even into the roots of how medical knowledge was first formed.

Second, it demonstrates that blacks have been routinely (ab)used in medical research and are overrepresented in clinical studies that have no therapeutic value. This is in direct contradiction to the predominant public narratives of the 70s and 80s which led to the NIH Revitalization Act--narratives that claimed women and minorities had been excluded from medical research. Washington's analysis gives life to Otis Brawley's warnings that the mandatory inclusion of minorities in federally-sponsored research would lead to "an incentive to give minorities the 'hard sell' when offering enrollment in a clinical trial" (Brawley quoted in Epstein 2007: 95). Simply put, informed consent--an ethical standard that Washington shows has already been treated as a technicality by medical scientists with regards to blacks involved in non-therapeutic research--is truly in danger of becoming an endangered species.

Third, and last, it demonstrates the many ways in which patient attitudes towards the medical institution (typically measured by distrust in medicine, refusal of robust treatments, unwillingness to seek a doctor for a problematic symptom, etc) can and have been shaped by unethical practices that prey on a lack of knowledge on the behalf of the patient and an imbalance of power within the therapeutic alliance. According to the 2003 IOM report on racial health care disparities, attitudes, or "patient preferences," are only a source of racial disparities in medical treatment IF these preferences are "not based on a full and accurate understanding of treatment options" (Smedley, Stith, and Nelson 2003: 4,32). While the contribution of patient preferences to racial disparities in medical treatment is minimized (and, I believe, under-theorized) in the seminal IOM report, Washington's analysis puts a whole new perspective on "patient preferences" as a legitimate source of racial disparities in health care and begs us to develop creative ways to measure it besides our trite attitudinal measures.

In all, I still am disappointed that variants of "trust" were not indexed. However, to be honest, every chapter provides a different (and, at times, new) way to understand the role that trust plays in the clinical encounter. Thanks for this invaluable piece of work.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
suzy kelly
Medical Apartheid is a shocking indictment of the history of the medical profession since slavery to the present. Blacks and many Whites were exploited, abused and mutilated over the last few centuries for medical and miscellaneous research in America. Washington cites and sources many instances of assault such as physicians performing hysterectomies, and other vaginal surgeries on hapless slaves without any painkillers, or anesthesia. Many of these women would die on the operating table. This proceedure along with many others would be conducted in front of first year medical students. It was believed, or should I say "Whites Doctors who were part of the System" tried to rationalize that Blacks didn't experience pain at the same capacity as they did. So, to them it was ethical to conduct sanguineous experiments of this nature out of utter malice.

A case in point: according to Harriet A. Washington, "Between 1963, and 1971, a Dr. Heller irradiated the gonads of 131 prisoners in Oregon, including at least 66 [unsuspecting] 'negro volunteers' with radioactive thymindine." Moreover, "Vanderbilt University physicians administered radioactive cocktails to pregnant women in Nashville." This and the other scenarios mentioned are interesting because Vanderbilt University (a private research univeristy in Nashville, Tennessee) was founded in 1873, and it was named after "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt, [the patriarch of the Vanderbilt Dynasty] who provided Vanderbilt its initial $1 million endowment.
Also, Insofar as the conspiracy theorists are concerned, they believe that the Vanderbilts (one of the riches families in the world) are an intracate part of a New World Order conspiracy.

Additionally, Washington cites that, "the Ferdald School in Walyham, Massachusetts, added radioactive oatmeal to the menus of thirty orphans." This insidious program was sponsored by the Atomic Energy Commission and the Quacker Oats Company. Futhermore, Dow Chemical Company paid Dr. Albert M. Kligman to experiment on prisoners in Holmesburg Prison as part of the MK-ULTRA project, which most of it was sponsored by the U.S. Government. But alas, by 1973 Dr. Sindney Gottleib discarded much of the evidence that exposed the MK-ULTRA project. Moreover, other companies that Kligman was working for at the Holmesburg Prison were Johnson & Johnson, Helena Rubenstein, Merck and Dupont. These companies were also involved in experimentation, and were abusive to these prisoners.

Washington also writes about the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study in Alabama, which went on from 1932-1972 (according to Wikipedia). Black Sharecroppers were led to believe that the Tuskegee Institute was trying to find a cure for their medical condition, and in many cases the Institute injected/administed Syphilis into them. The researchers wanted to study the residual effects of Syphilis by simply watching these helpless patients die, then perform autopsy experiments. "In fact, (according to Washington's account) in the late 1920's and 1930's, the very period when the Tuskegee Syphilis Study lost its therapeutic arm [it began to mutate into exploitational experiments] in malaria therapy, conducted under the auspices of the Rockefeller Foundation, (which egregiously) was doing worse than allowing blackmen with syphilis to (just simply) die: Researchers were killing black syphilitics outright in order to test a (so-called) theory of treatment."

Washington also elaborates that the Rockefeller Institute of New York was involved in late-stage sysphilis experiments. Dr. Mark Boyd who was funded by the Rockefeller Institute, "was testing a novel treatment for neurosyphilis-malaria theraphy. Boyd deliberately infected both black and white people suffering from neurosyphilis with malaria in order to generate high fevers, which he hoped would kill the syphilis spirochete. But the blacks in his experiment seemed to resist infection" So according to Washington, Boyd "infected 470" more Blacks excluding the Whites, but as soon as some of the Blacks began to die off he "resorted to deceit" by conspiring to cover up "their cause of death" by distoring "the death rate of blacks to shroud the fact that they were dying from deliberate infection with falciparum." Which falciparum is a protozoan parasite that causes malaria in humans.

Washington, also writes about the 1952 chemical and biological weapons experiment that the CIA and the US Government were developing in Fort Detrick, Maryland. One of the weapons developed was "dubbed MK-Naomi. "Fort Detrick's Army Chemical Corps laboratory bred more than four million mosquitoes per day and released them in hordes around Florida." The reason for this Malthusian minded experiment was "to determine whether these droning syringes on (wings could in fact) be used as first-strike biological weapons to spread yellow fever and other infectious diseases, ostensibly among foreign troops during wartime." Many people were infected by these mosquitoes around the Carver Village area.
I suggest reading this book for the details to all of this because Washington backs up everything she states with valid source material. Basically in a nutshell this book propagates a very sanguineous history that has been ignored by the masses over the years, from the days of slavery to the present we as a collective have benifited from the suffering of others, but is it ethical is the question? Well, Washington demonstrates throughout her thesis that these practices are indeed unethical. Injecting plutonium in people just to study the affects of radiation and how it developes into certain cancers is abhorrent, iniquitous and disgusting. Yep, this happened to Mr. Elmer Allen of Italy, Texas according to Washington's book.

The bottom line is this, most of you readers are probably going to laugh at me for stating this scenario, but after reading this book if you're not convinced of the American Illuminati's existence and involvement in all of this insalubrious activity then I don't know what to tell you. Just the fact that the Rockefeller Foundation, the Duponts and the Vanderbilts played a part in it should raise your eyebrows. Plus, I'll never patron buisnesses such as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus ever again because they used to exhibit Africans like zoo animals in their freak-sideshows. I reiterate read the book for details.

For further reading I suggest reading Alex Jones' "9/11 Descent Into Tyranny" because much of Harriet A. Washington's research supports Alex Jones' reports as well as many of his documentary films since Washington exposes the eugenics programs in place that are to this day exploiting and experimenting on people to further their Hitlerian goals.
Also, Howard Zinn's "A Peoples' History of the United States" is a good book to reference since "Medical Apartheid" fills in the necessary gaps in his book.

Harriet A. Washington is the most astute author today and whether your into the medical profession, political science, a history buff, or conspiracy researcher it doesn't really matter because everyone should read this book to ascertain why things are the way they are, and to find solutions on how to change our attitudes toward one another.
There's a plethora of information in this book that will blow your mind! Don't pass this book up!

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nicole huddleston
This book is so . . . Masterful !!!

It should be a course, a prerequisite, a job-requirement, for all healthcare workers, including administration, right down to the hospital clerk.

"Medical Apartheid" proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Mengele was not just an individual madman, Mengele-ism was, and likely remains, an operative American medical-community mind-set.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Most people only think of the infamous Tuskegee study of subjects with untreated syphilis when it comes to the exploitation of blacks as guinea pigs. But such experimentation by medical researchers neither began nor ended with that shocking case.

Medical Apartheid illustrates how this disregard for the well-being of blacks began during the days of slavery when Africans en route to the Americas were 'thrown overboard if signs of disease were found' by the ship's surgeon. By the conclusion of this compelling opus, Harriet A. Washington makes it abundantly clear that just as America has a two-tiered criminal justice system, it has totally different quality healthcare systems when it comes to blacks and white citizens.

So, when you encounter an African-American who harbors a deep distrust of doctors, that might not be paranoia but simply a sensible survival instinct still intact.

Read the full review and more book reviews from on your Kindle Edition
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
When I was a little boy I loved watching a popular 70s medical drama "Marcus Welby MD". Not only was this doctor the sort of one I wished I had, it was hard to think of him as engaing in unethical, inhumane or abusive medical practises or by extension American doctors as a whole.
Although I heard of the now notorious Tuskegee syphilis study as I grew up I had(naively ) assumed it to be an aberration( the "Tuskegee syphilis study" involved a group of black sharecroppers who between 1932 and 1972 were allowed to suffer and die agonizingly painful from syphilis by US medical researchers even after the cure for the "clap!" was discovered in 1943).
Not until I read Harriet Washington's "Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation On Black Americans From Colonial Times To The Present", did I discover the real extent of the abuse of African American men, women and children at the hands of the US medical profession.
I have read accounts of inhumane anc abusive practises before( the three volumes of "The Gulag Archipelago" by the late Alexander Solzhenitsyn, "The Scourge Of The Swastika" and "The Knights Of Bushido" by Lord Russell of Liverpool, "Stalin's Secet War" by Count Nikolai Tolstoy) but those were practised in avowed dictatorships such as the Third Reich, Bushidoistic Japan or Stalin's Soviet Union- NOT the United States of America!
From the unwilling and unwitting use of African Americans as guinea pigs(beginning in slavery but continuing for at least a century after formal emancipation), wilful experimentation without anaesthetics on black men. women and children(justified by noted medicos such as |James Marion Sims on the grounds that the colored don't feel pain as whiote folks do), exposure of blacks to radioactive substances, attempts to choke off the Afro-American birthrate(arguably genocidal), use of black inmates as "caged subjects", even plundering of cadavers from black cemeteries for dissection in medical schools and the use of their skins to line books, use of Afro-American test subjects in CIA mind control experiments such as MKULTRA.
So where does this put American condemnation of other societies own inhumane and abusive medical practises? Well, whilst two wrongs do not make one right, this makes the claim made by German and Japanese doctors (pace Karl Brandy and Unit 731) that they were victims of "victors' justice"- ie being tried for activities engaged in also by their Allied judges medico scientific establishment contain at least a kernel of truth.(several of these doctors were indeed executed such as Brandt and Surgeon Commander Chisato Ueno, IJN).
What I find the most depressing is that not one of the American doctors mentioned in this book and known to have engaged in inhumane, abusive or unethical medical experiments from James Sims to Albert Kligman lost their licenses far less suffered the penalties that their German or Japanese counterparts did- either execution or even jail time!
The only good thing is that these practises are far rarer then they once were.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Mrs. Washington disrobes an even darker aspect of black slavery (then till now) that few know about or would even suspect and throws light on the extent of the sickness imbedded in the temptation of ultimate control that white America has enjoyed perpetrating on blacks at home and abroad with veritable impunity. To provide a scale: the sound-byte of the Tuskegee scandal but scratches the surface of a much deeper void the book plummets. The book's facts grip like a suspense novel. It should be required reading in America. No one with a human heart touched with pain and ignited by injustice can read Washington's staggering expose and come away dispassionate or neutral. The reader, by force of conscience, is privately left to choose sides, and there are only two: "for" or "against" the shame and atrocity of "the American way". It is decidedly one of the most important treatise I have ever had the dubious pleasure of reading. I thank Mrs. Washington with my whole heart for the ardor of her impeccable work and would be obliged to thank her personally. I consider her work among the most important in the canon of black [American] history; no less the scale of Joel Augustus Rogers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nathan sinclair
Have to say that this book brought me insight I never would have imagined. The length that the dominant society would go just lets me know there is no limits to their cruelty and mistreatment of African lives, globally. The Racist "take no days off:" They methodically conjure up, and refine ways on the art of murder and cruelty. All and all this book is very informative, and would give you some understanding, that we are at war.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emily mcadoo
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 experiments in their concentration camps or those performed by Japan's Unit 516. It seems that 'unter-people' or people viewed as some kind of sub-human are the favorites for experiments.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amanda morris
i watch quite a bit of cspan,,its always on the tv.

well on weekends,on cspan2,they have a program called "book tv". book tv,is basically authors giving talks about their latest book,or maybe a career interview for three hours with brian lamb.

i do not have this book,nor can i afford it at this time,i live on a fixed income. (being disabled is why i began watching cspan to begin with,,plenty of time to kill. now i find i like the network.)

listening to harriet give her talk,,interesting is an enormous understatement.

the way the medicine makers play with us as nothing more than free testing on various groups they can get their hands sickening,not to mention criminal. anyone want to go hunting?

i missed the beginning of the talk,so i hope it is on again on sunday.i will also go to cspan and see if they have it to view on their site.

they are pretty good about showing interviews and talks,,but they also never forget to show the link to where you can buy them.

its a shame when information that is good for the nation at large,,must cost to be informed.

if half of what she says in this book is true,,,,,,id think twice before i went to the hospital again.

good luck folks,

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
While the pundits explain the flawed healthcare habits of the heretofore uninsured, why these largely poor and largely people of color have failed to avail themselves to preventative healthcare, and assuming that this was done by choice, Medical Apartheid by Harriet Washington, takes us back through the long, dark, history of African American encounters with the US medical establishment, thereby giving context to the distrust felt by so many. While most have heard of the notorious Tuskegee Syphilis experiment, few know about a 19th-century doctor by the name of Marion Sims who, thanks to the barbaric institution of chattel slavery, enjoyed free access to rights-less black women whose live bodies he used for practice and experimentation. While uneven at times, this is an important book for students of African American history, American medical history and race and science.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rosie nowlin
I have two more chapters to go and I do think this is a great documentary of medical experimentation through the years within the African American community. I appreciate the historical information presented. The level of acumen and understanding she uses to bring forth the information. However, where I dissent is the angle in which some of the information is brought forth. My mind would be spinning wild with the historical facts, then I would hear Ms. Washington's voice jump through, peppered with her opinion. I realize it's tricky to keep our voice out of our writings; however, it's also dangerous to pepper minds with a thought in the midst of the fact. The naive mind is impacted by this interchange. Moving forward, we need a careful balance of empowering our community, while participating in the science of tomorrow. If we aren't, that will become a convenient excuse for the establishment to once again omit us at the table as the create therapies specific only to their genetic makeup. In that case, we will be stuck with the generic garbage that has been used over the past few decades full of side effects that 'prove' that the medicine is working, while 'others' get the pest that personalized medicine will have to offer in the future. I think the key would be to balance discovery with protective legislation that will protect our genetic profiles and prevent those who seek ill gain from exploiting it. I see an evolution and mergence between science and law that could be quite promising in the future if positioned strategically. Well done Mrs. Washington, thanks for your hard work. I find myself excited to research more and empower more to be empowered and mindful in their medical care.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
African American slaves from the 1700s to the mid- or late-1900s were certainly exploited and unfairly treated in medical research. However, Washington does not do this subject justice.

First, she fails to place the experience of African-Americans in a broader social, historical, scientific and ethical context, comparing it with that of research participants more generally. Second, the book is so riddled with exaggerations, distortions, contradictions, errors and confusions as to be untrustworthy.

Certainly she cites reasonable sources time to time, but she blows others way out of proportion.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dan barrett
This is an encyclopedic work on the painful history of African Americans in the US and other parts of the and their misuse as experimental animals. It also gives insight into the absurd history of racism and racial medicine. A must read for anyone interested in health Equity and justice.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book is a powerhouse! The sheer amount of research undertaken by Harriet A. Washington to shed light on the overwhelming amount of injustices inflicted upon African Americans in this country during slavery and for many, many years after is astounding. Several times while reading this book I had to shut my eyes in disgust and absolute disbelief at the level of brutality my people experienced, all in the name of science. Before reading this book I thought the only true example of blacks being used in medical research was the Tuskegee Experiment. I was not only wrong but naive. Tuskegee is only the most well known and documented. The

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand why it is that even in 2010 many African Americans are still distrustful of the medical system. After reading this book, my own sister was told she might have cervical cancer and I immediately told her to get a second opinion and to give me a list of all the medications prescribed to her so that I could do my own research into their efficacy and use for her illness. Thank goodness it was a false alarm, but the book really made an impact on me. I've realized that trust in the medical system is still an issue for African Americans.

Even though we have an African American President and we live in a time where some people don't believe racism even exists anymore, this book drives the point home the fact that as African Americans we still have a long way to go in this country. The use of black children in a study conducted at Columbia in the early 1990's is a prime example of that.

Although this book is fairly thick, you will find yourself completely engrossed in all 412 pages of it. This book is a must read not only for all medical students and professionals but everyone who cares to understand how important medical ethics are and the history of black people in scientific research.

This book will surprise you, upset you, and most importantly teach you. It is so important to understand your country's history regardless if is good or bad. A tour de force!

Highly recommended!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Although I would like to think that I couldn't be tempted (as a medical researcher) to break the rules and to impair human dignity, it was a very disturbing eye-opener to read this book! It made me remember a few events in my medical education when I saw my teachers cross the line, not as dramatically as most of what Washington portrays, but nevertheless the start of the slippery slope, and I know the temptations to "cut corners" in pursuing your goal of completing your research project. Once you give in to that, much worse can follow. I agree with other reviewers that this book has rendered a great service and should be required reading.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
At times this book made me cry. There are no words to express some of the horrors that African Americans have gone through in this country and around the world. If you would like to read true un-sugar coated history then this is the book for you. I think that this is a book that should be read by African Americans and others alike. It is so amazing how some (so called) human beings had so much hate for other human beings that they justified such horrible events such as these. I say that it is a must read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
matthew clasby
This book was absolutely devastating but a great read and very informative. As a Black person I do need little reminders of how far my people have come in this country. Furthermore many of us had our dignity, healthy, and humanity sacrificed in the name of medical science. I'm very pleased that Harriet Washington documented what happened in this book. Please check it out and spread the word.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bethany vedder
It's well researched. It's well written. It's informative. It's not information to be taken lightly. And it's not information that has been widely distributed.

It's a must read, especially if you are considering going into medicine, like I am. It gives you another look at practices in medicine and encourages you to question the origin of not just medical practices, but how knowledge was found at the expense of others.

I felt that at times it was a bit lacking - I wanted a bit more evidence, some more primary sources. But really, I don't even remember the details of my little complaints. Because I really, really recommend that you read this book.

I would recommend reading it with others though, and discussing it with friends. It's a sad book to get through at times.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
caroline oceana
This book really impressed me, but I am the kind of person who would rather hear a somber truth than a glittering lie. If you know such persons, Medical Apartheid would be a quality addition to their library, to say the least. With impressive credentials, the author is decidedly thorough without being the least bit boring, and with the wide array of evidenced tales-many of which hit the headlines-you are forced to feel for the black men, women and children in the text as real living people who's humanity was questioned, ignored, and constantly tested upon, with no respite and no justice. The author is truthful and bold in describing her victims, offers an answer to every question(and a question to every answer) one could think of while reading, and, perhaps most importantly, the book ends with a number of hopeful solutions. Medical Apartheid doesn't condemn medicine as a practice, but it does explain a quiet vein of distrust in the field. Well written and well-meaning, reading this book made me as an individual feel a little bit more whole and a lot less ignorant. I encourage others to give it a try.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I finally finished reading this book and found it to be well researched and very disturbing. It was truly an eye opener for me especially considering some of the instances she cites I clearly remember (i.e. Norplant and the Violence Initiative).
A must read for everyone; just have a dictionary handy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
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.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
It is clear from the thorough treatment of the subject, the suprisingly constructive conclusion, and the rich, powerful prose of Medical Apartheid that Harriet Washington is a genius. For dealing with such controversial and emotionally charged issues her tone is far more expository than accusatory, and she masterfully explains the history that has led our country to its current state of inequality. Her message is hopeful and clearly summarized. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in inequalities in medical treatment in the United States.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
risma muthia
This is an incredibly well-researched, well-written book. A must-read for anyone involved in research or healthcare in the U.S.
Washington is thorough in her research and presents support from centuries of abuse of Black Americans that is critical to understanding -- and mitigating -- the health disparities facing Black Americans.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
caf africa africa
While I think that this book makes many fine points about the perception of Blacks by the medical profession in our country. One MUST be aware of the entire Medical profession for all people at the time. One of the reasons that many of the soft drinks of today became part of American society was because they were first sold as a cure all so that people did not have to go to ANY doctor. Doctors put as many people in the ground as they cured during the period that this book covers. No excuses for many of these atrocities, but like all things historical, look at the context of the times that these events took place. I am so glad that Ms. Washington wrote this book because we need so much more discussion between ALL of the races of Americans in order to climb out of the pit that our ancestors dug for all of us.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
america should be ashamed to say it believes in LIBERTY, EQUALITY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. american should NEVER critiziethe like of Josef Mengel and those butchers responsible for such behavior should be condemned and posthumously dismissed from the medical field and declared charitans>

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
khushboo goyal
I am a white woman who was experimented on and my mouth muscles cut off for research. Many of us in a Beverly Hills FDA funded clinic. These things happen and we, the people, are without protections. Thank you for writing this.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rebekah o dell
Can anyone tell me if there are photos in this book? graphic images? how many? I'd like to get this book for my high school class during black history month, but I'm concerned it may be too graphic. Thank you...sorry to post in the comment section but I can't find any info.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rachel sharpe
I haven't even finished the book and already I've been raving about it and recommending it to anyone who shows any interest it. Washington is an excellent writer. Her research not only illuminates an ugly piece of US history, but also provides invaluable insights into African-AMerican culture and experiences.

If you are looking for an engaging and informative read on African-American history or the history of medical experimentation, you will not be disappointed by this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is an informative and infuriating book. It is a well researched and documented tomb but it is sure to emotionally affect and effect anyone who has not developed the mental mastery of a Jedi Knight.

When reading this book I could not help but weep for my ancestors who were so cruelly put upon and thank Allah that the deluded `masters of creation' are being hemmed in as I write.

But more importantly the book showed that often grate life saving substances, procedures, and techniques spring from immense pain, demonic investigation, platters of wretchedness, and droughts of ruin.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
yz the whyz
All I can say is THANK YOU!, THANK YOU!, THANK YOU! This was a book that needed to be written. This is what you came to the planet to do. Thank you for heeding the call. I look forward to reading more of your work.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jacob harris
I first learned about this book in a class at Florida A&M University. It is a must read for all African Americans. She presents unbiased views of the history of medical abuse that has inflicted African Americans from colonial times to the present.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is the most amazingly informative book I've EVER read. And I have read many books throughout my life. I'm sure that Ms. Washington will continue her important work!!!!!!!

Patricia A. Hall
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lorenzo sanyer
Excellent book. Offers a well-researched analysis of how Black Americans have been victimized by the medical establishment and its impact on health seeking behavior. This is very important as we devise policies to impact on health disparities.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
If your faith in humanity is already at an all-time low, don't expect this book to be in any way uplifting or to provide any hope for the future. It is, however, very worth reading, bringing to light the many, many medical transgressions suffered by African Americans in the US, from the medical torture of slaves who could not object, all the way up to pharmaceutical company experiments in the 20th century whose objectives, procedures and side-effects were not disclosed to (and, in fact, were purposely kept from) their subjects.

While the subject matter was interesting and, at times, even fascinating, the author seemed to go in circles within the earlier chapters. By midway through the book she finds her stride.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
jeff newberry
PROS: One of only a few somewhat comprehensive books available to look at this subject. Many sources are cited for further reading by those interested.

CONS: Multiple:

DISTRUST OF SOURCES: She undermined any trust I had in her use of sources, or interpretation of sources, besides too often not providing sources.

For instance, she writes on page 134 that “Some libraries and physicians still possess books bound in the skins of African Americans” and gives as a source, a webpage[...] When one visits this site, Larson mentions books made in England prior to 1832, and two others, in 1852 and 1951. He does not mention race at all, stating that these books were often made from the skins of executed criminals, (and French aristocrats, and a mistress to a French novelist), thus my impression is that these were likely primarily of white people.

Or consider that she states, p117, she believes black cadavers are over-represented in dissecting labs, despite stating that the experts in the field deny this, yet she fails to cite data that would refute these experts. Also, she studiously ignores the data that is available, for instance as Iserson points out in Death to Dust, black bodies and black organ donation are both under-represented. Iserson cites two studies supporting his statements.

Or page 139, she asserts as truth that there are more black body parts being used, without one citation to support this claim. She later cites a book about a survey regarding corneas, but IF this is her source regarding the various organs, the reader is privy only to the finding of bias concerning corneas in Los Angeles, due to presumed consent laws, as this is about corneas only, not all other organs or bodies, AND, is in Los Angeles, not other cities or towns).

She does quote Thucydides a few pages later…

Page 147: "so little trouble do men take in search for the truth," Thucydides, "so readily do they accept whatever comes first to hand."

On Page 60 she recounts the experiments Thomas Jefferson made on his slaves, stating unambiguously that “Only after they escaped illness did Jefferson inject his white family at Monticello.” However, she lists as a source, a letter from Jefferson, quoted in a book by Robert Halsey, cited in a book by Savitt, a book she refers to throughout her book. (It is unclear if she is citing Savitt or Halsey as her source here, or both. If Savitt, she is now two sources removed. In any case, more worrisome is that she does not include Savitt’s footnote, that there is “ambiguity” in determining if Jeffersons’s white family was inoculated only after, and that he believes this to be the case because of the cold language of “subjects” thus “suggesting” blacks were inoculated before whites.

These and other examples make it difficult to know what to trust in this book.

LIMITED PROPORTION OF EXPERIMENTATION INFORMATION: The majority of this book is not what is purported in the subtitle, that is, experimentation. The majority of the book includes other concerns, such as bodies on display in sideshows, dissection rooms, eugenics, a convoluted suggestion of genocide, bias in employment based on genetics, the myth of the crack baby, etc…, If entitled “Bias against Black Bodies” then the subject matter would more appropriately match.

MISLEADING JUXTAPOSITION: On page 5 Washington lists many university programs that have been suspended by OPRR. The prior sentence includes “research that abused black Americans” and the following sentence includes “many studies enrolled only or principally black Americans.” She does not list her source for this information, making it difficult to check. However, one of the universities suspended was “even John Hopkins,” but the suspension she likely referred to occurred as a result of the death of a white woman. I found on my own internet search a threat of suspension regarding Yale [...] , but if they were suspended, she needs to list the citation.

APARTHEID: Presenting only studies (if accurate representations) that reveal over-representation of blacks, or abuse of blacks, but not providing a wider perspective, for instances of over-representation of women, or Jews, or others, or the lack thereof, does reveal just that, abuse and racism, but does not prove apartheid, that is, a systemic, or official policy of segregation. Maybe Apartheid is the right word, but she must make the case.
She does write of Cotton Mather having a grenade thrown in his house, p72, or, on p66 Sims giving ether to white men to knock their white wives unconscious for sex, but these only hint of a broader picture that could be painted.

Washington states that some 18th and 19th century white physicians and statesmen worked to promulgate the belief that one could look different and yet not be inferior. However rather than name some of these white physicians she immediately writes of two African-Americans instead, p94.

THESIS: In her epilogue she states for her book to have the most value, blacks need to be more willing to see doctors and engage in studies despite the past abuses. According to Washington, this participation is problematic because of the justified fear blacks have of doing so, “black iatrophobia” page 21. While providing some examples of nineteenth century fears, this justification for her book is lacking in any recent surveys of such fears. How prominent are blacks fears of night riders? Of grave-robbing for the dissection table? Tuskagee has likely caused fears, but then we have books about that already. Do we know if the Tuskagee revelations affected whites’ trust in studies?

How significant is blacks fear of abuse by a doctor in blacks under-utilization of the health system today? She does not address this question. Might not economics play a much larger role?It therefore comes across as an insincere justification, a noble sentiment providing camouflage for some other purpose.
On page 179, she states “it is a mistake to attribute African Americans’ medical reluctance to simple fear generated by the Tuskagee Syphlis Study,” and goes on to list quotes from four newspapers from doctors who do so. What a perfect opportunity to include some surveys of black fears, and knowledge of other past abuses, but she does not provide even one reference.

MIXING ISSUES: Washington introduces the book’s name on page 12, describing the current health of blacks compared to whites as such a wide gap as to be a medical “apartheid.” Page 134 she describes the African American book skins as “medical racism.” (Perhaps she attempts to tie these two issues together by her thesis above, that racism has lead to fear, has lead to health gaps, that is, apartheid.)
Subtilted “Black Americans” she reviews much of what happened in South Africa, and other countries.

NUMBERS GAME: Typically, as is appropriate, Washington uses percentages to show bias or racism, such as the much higher percentage of blacks in prison compared to the percentage in the general population. Yet, when refuting myths about black people she resorts to absolute numbers, for instance, page 203 she points out most women on welfare are not black. Myth safely refuted, she then provides the more meaningful data, that black women constitute 6% of the population but represent one third of those on AFDC. She resorts to absolute numbers again refuting racist mythology about teen pregnancy on page 207, but here, she does not provide the more meaningful data of percentages.

GRATUITOUS WESTERN BASHING: Page 79: in 1916 Benga committed suicide with that ubiquitous icon of Western technological achievement the handgun.

SPECULATION: p136, In regards to medical students, apparently prior to 1920, and the black cadavers, “There were photos of the bodies posed an undignified attitudes that accentuated whites dominance over them.” Besides not providing perspective (such as similar photos of students with white cadavers), she misses the psychological phenomenon of fear of death and discomfort of cutting into the dead, and the attempt to assert dominance over fear of death through the use of gallows humor, but why mention this when speculation about dominance over blacks is at hand?

PHYSICS: Yet another victim of misunderstanding the Heisenberg uncertainty principle: Page 153: Washington unfortunately compares paradoxes of quantum physics in the Heisenberg uncertainty principle as being similar to poorly done research.

LEAVE THE READER GUESSING: Page 192: she recounts that Dr. Harry Haiseldon killed six babies in 1915 for being defective although she does not describe their race. However she also states that parents began openly to recruit doctors to kill their children who were born with defects and doctors came forward with their own proud confessions of infanticide, but again she does not comment on the race of these parents or of the children.

HAVING IT BOTH WAYS: Multiple times I felt she wanted to have an issue both ways, for instance, Page 200: Washington writes "the proliferation of birth control clinics that were clearly aimed at an African-American population falls neatly within the UN definitions" of genocide. Yet she also states "although the proliferation of birth control clinics was unethical, the general rise of reproductive clinics in black neighborhoods did not constitute genocide because whatever the intent of the whites who introduce them such measures were widely embraced by black women.” Is she saying the UN definition is wrong (then say so?), or, less generously, is she trying to indicate that it is actually genocide (by UN criteria), but she herself won’t say so as a way of avoiding taking responsibility for such a charge. Also, while on one hand refuting the charge of genocide on the basis of black women wanting the pill, she calls such choice “quasi-voluntary.”

INCONSISTENCY: p340 Washington writes of a misleading conclusion from a VA study on AZT, that it did not help blacks, leading physicians to not prescribe it to blacks for fear of side effects, a false conclusion made in part on having too small of a group of blacks in the study. Yet, multiple times she holds out as examples of racism studies that include a higher percentage of blacks than that found in the population without discussing whether or not such numbers were needed for statistical significance.

WEAK ARGUMENTS: on page 342, Washington discusses that protease inhibitors were often withheld from lower socioeconomic groups, as poor compliance could increase drug resistance, but supports her criticism of this with a quote from an African American Physician, "my patients with drug problems are all compliant… It's ridiculous to withhold medication from drug users on the assumption that they won’t adhere to the treatment schedule: who understands the importance of taking drugs on time better than an addict?" (Seriously?)
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
diana surkamp
6/16/07 author Harriet Washington's book showed great research: I started with her Appendix " which is all of 1 sentence (Pg 405) which was entitled "Choosing a Clinic Trial: ; and then scanned the author's "Acknowlegements: Pg 407-412) in which she lauded many, mentioned many wished to be anonymous, and asked apologies of the many whose names she chose not to name ; and then scanned :the Notes Pgs 413-464* ,which with much detail beginning with "Chapt. 1 :Southern Comfort" to Epilogue: Medical Research With Blacks Today (*e.g Pg 436 note 18 from Chapter 6 "Diagnosis Freedom (author Albert Deutsch"s ""The First U.S. Census (1840) of the Insane and its use in Pro Slavery Propaganda read 2/2/1944 before the New-York Historical Society) the Biliography (Pgs 465-484): example: New York Times article(12/11/1934 "Tuberculosis Test Reported Success" the Index (Pgs 485-501 incl of Yale University (pgs 5,124,169,258,267). 6/16/07 abj
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Medical Apartheid was well-articulated and researched book, which all blacks must read including educators, doctors, nurses, and scientist. The book bought tears to my eyes because blacks today we are still being experimented on like lab rats and genocide secretly by our federal and state government thought medical, biological, and chemical research that are not design to save us medically. The abuse our ancestors and present day blacks have to endure by the hands of the oppressor (Private and Public institutions). The so-called "American forefather of Medicine" should have been executed or burned without going to trial for their inhumane acts perform blacks and humanity. Can you picture you go to move your deceased love from one cemetery to another better-groomed cemetery to unearth THE PLOT IS EMPTY. Addie Mae Collins, one of four young girls killed in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Birmingham, Alabama. Addie Mae Collin Family wanted to relocate Addie Mae's grave due to the unacceptable condition of Greenwood Cemetery. When the crew went to dig up Addie Mae Collin the plot was empty (NO BODY OR COFFIN). The oppressor does not respect us when we are breathing or deceased!

I do have utmost respect for the doctors that are genuinely sincere about decrease black's health issues. In addition, MS. Washington is right that black must "transform our attitudes toward medical research and to demand our place at the table to enjoy the rich bounty of the American Medical system in the form of longer, healthier lives."

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
antti vilpponen
While I think the book was needed and contains some valuable lessons and truth--there are some things that the author asserts that are subject to debate.

The author tries to equate medical students being photographed as the same as those persons who hunted down people and lynched them. While the method of obtaining bodies for research was truly sickening, the med students photographed are not smiling over their "kill". The comparison is just not there.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
mike lagano
Got this for my book club because there isn't much (if any) good material on this topic. The discussion was great, but likely because it remains one of our top 3 LEAST favorite reads. There IS material in here that you'll learn from, but Washington is much too long winded and hugely bias (which shines through via her tone and, occasionally, her sources). These two things started distracting from the excellent intent of the book by about page 200 for me -- and there are 500+ pages total. Her editor failed in this case. Arguably, there are a few contradictory points made throughout the book. If you have down time, it's worth a read since you may like it much more than I did. Otherwise I'd suggest looking elsewhere.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
samantha zimlich
While there is no question that monstrous things have been done in the past in the name of science to blacks (and the incarcerated, the mentally ill, jews and anyone that society has disenfranchised) This book attempts to take that sorry past and create a black community paranoia about medical research at a time when this is already the most under-represented group in treatment development of diseases in which blacks are disproportionately affected. This book has done untold damage to the cause of community based treatment advocacy. Shame on you Dr. Washington
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
shining love
Interesting subject to write on, but in the end, this book just serves as another channel for the stereotypical black "the world done me wrong" mindset. Despite the endless stacks of literature on discrimination against black Americans and enslavement of them, there is relatively nothing about the enslavement of --and discrimination against-- Irish Americans. Despite there being more Irish slaves in the Americas during the 17th century, their history has conveniently been forgotten and replaced only with unrelenting grievance against black slavery. Now, even though Irish people were often given even less of a lawful backing in every area of social injustice, they've become the most educated class in the United States-- holding the highest amount of PHD and high graduate degrees per capita. Same/worse discrimination, x1000 success, without the endless NYT-lauded books/novels condemning any segment of society with light skin and/or money. Even if it was hard earned.
Please Rate The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present
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