With the first patent being granted to “BiDil,” a combined medication that is deemed to be most effective for a specific “race,” African-Americans for a specific form of heart failure, the on-going debate about the effect of the older category of race has been renewed. What role should “race” play in the discussion of genetic alleles and populations today? The new genetics has seemed to make “race” both a category that is seen useful if not necessary, as The New York Times noted recently: "Race-based prescribing makes sense only as a temporary measure." (Editorial, “Toward the First Racial Medicine,” November 13, 2004) Should one think about “race” as a transitional category that is of some use while we continue to explore the actual genetic makeup and relationships in populations? Or is such a transitional solution poisoning the actual research and practice.
Does “race” present both epidemiological and a historical problem for the society in which it is raised as well as for medical research and practice? Who defines “race”? The self-defined group, the government, the research funder, the researcher? What does one do with what are deemed “race” specific diseases such as “Jewish genetic diseases” that are so defined because they are often concentrated in a group but are also found beyond the group? Are we comfortable designating “Jews” or “African-Americans” as “races” given their genetic diversity? The book answers these questions from a bio-medical and social perspective.
This book was previously published as a special issue of Patterns of Prejudice.
Introduction: On Race and Medicine in Historical Perspective. Sander L. Gilman (Emory)
Reflections on Race and the Biologization of Difference, Katya Gibel Azoulay (Grinnell)
Against Racial Medicine. Joseph L. Graves, Jr. (North Carolina A&T State University) & Michael R. Rose (University of California, Irvine)
Blood and Stories: How Genomics is Rewriting Race, Medicine and Human History. Patricia Wald (Duke)
“Why are Genetic and Medical Researchers Accepting a Category Created by Slaveholders?” A Social History of the Reification of “Race” James Downs (Princeton)
Eugenics and the Racial Genome: Politics at the Molecular Level. Sharon Snyder and David Mitchell (University of Illinois – Chicago)
The Risky Gene: Epidemiology and the Evolution of Race. Philip Alcabes (Hunter College School of Health Sciences)
Folk Taxonomy, Prejudice and the Human Genome: Using Heritable Disease as a Jewish Ethnic Marker. Judith S. Neulander (Case Western Reserve University)
The price of science without moral constraints: German and American medicine before DNA and Today. Robert E. Pollack (Columbia)
Deadly Medicine Today: The Impossible Denials of Racial Medicine. C. Richard King (Washington State University)
Biobanks of a “Racial Kind”: Mining for Difference in the New Genetics. Sandra Soo-Jin Lee (Stanford)