Racism in medicine Institutional racism and the medical profession. Aneez Esmail University of Manchester. Black and ethnic minority communities are not getting the services that they are entitled to…
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Racism in medicineInstitutional racism and the medical profession
University of Manchester
Black and ethnic minority communities are not getting the services that they are entitled to…
‘… the institutional racism that is responsible for this is a disgrace and a festering abscess which is at present a blot upon the good name of the NHS.’
The Bennett Inquiry – April 2004
‘Institutional racism is the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping, which disadvantage minority ethnic people’
Sir William McPherson in the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry 1999
BMJ 1994;308: 1374
‘Thus in the three studies conducted over a period of nine years, the PSI found unexplained differences in the treatment by the GMC of overseas qualifiers as compared with UK qualifiers; the overseas qualifiers were more severely dealt with. This may or may not indicate that there is racial bias within the GMC….. It ought to be possible to refute a suggestion of bias if it can be demonstrated that decisions are taken according to objective criteria and by the consistent application of established standards. Professor Allen has repeatedly advised the GMC that it will be unable to refute the allegations of racial bias unless and until it develops objective standards and criteria….. without such standards and criteria, the GMC will be unable to satisfy the public that it is complying with its duty to protect patients.’
Dame Janet Smith – The Shipman Inquiry
Racism objectifies and makes a person into a thing and a thing by definition has no capacity for human relationships….
The unique complexity of a human being cannot be summed up and reduced by the colour of the skin. The patient who feels understood and cared for, who felt taken seriously and respected was less likely to be assaultative than one who felt rejected, powerless, despised, put down or dismissed.
“Such a high level of subjectivity is anathema to the successful application of equal opportunity guidelines since it works to the disadvantage of ethnic minorities, both in operation and perception… This case falls into the worst category of racial discrimination against a senior medical professional” (Dr M Nasr v. Salisbury NHS Trust)
If it is only bad people who are prejudiced, that would not have such a strong effect. Most people would not wish to imitate them — and so, such prejudices would not have much effect — except in exceptional times. It is the prejudices of good people that are so dangerous.
Vikram Seth. A suitable boy. London: Phoenix, 1993.
“What happened to the medical profession of Germany is stern testimony to the fact that acceptance of or even silence before anti-semitism and the rest of the trappings of racism....can lead to the dishonour and crime in which the entire medical profession of a country must in the last analysis be considered an accomplice.”
Andrew C Ivy
Statement In: Mitsherlich A, Mielke F.
Doctors of infancy: the story of the nazi medical crimes.
New York. Schuman.