Part of Macalester College's ninth annual American Studies Conference, this keynote address is free and open to the public. In a lecture titled "American Apartheid: Medicine, Research, and the Historical Prism of Race," award-winning journalist and bioethicist Harriet A. Washington will discuss the U.S.'s history of medical experimentation on African Americans. The author most recently penned Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present. In it, Washington meticulously researches and documents countless chilling and heartbreaking tales of unethical medical research, including the notorious Tuskegee Syphilis Study, a 40-year experiment beginning in 1932 where advance-stage syphilitic men were observed and denied life-saving penicillin. More recent examples include prison inmates in the 1970s who were used as guinea pigs to test pharmaceutical and hygiene products, and a 1990 study where black youths were injected with Fenfluramine, a component of the banned weight-loss drug, Fen-Phen, purportedly to study the genetic origins of violence. Washington is sure to present an enlightening talk on racially biased medical ethics.
Fri., Feb. 29, 7 p.m., 2008