Racial Profiling in the Doctor's Office

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Here’s a troubling scientific fact — black Americans suffer more from heart disease than white Americans. No one really knows why. It could be differences in education, income, rates of incarceration or something else.

Regardless of the reason, the FDA is set to approve a drug called BiDil to specifically treat African Americans for heart disease. If it goes through it will mark the first time a medication was approved for a specific racial group.

Some are welcoming the new treatment, saying it will help patients and remove some of the health disparities that exist between blacks and whites. Others fear that it will foster the idea that race is a biological, not a social construct and reinforce old notions of what makes people different. Race based medicine, what color is your pill?


Joseph Graves, Professor of Biological Sciences at Farleigh-Dickenson University and author of “The Emperor’s New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millenium”

Keith Ferdinand, Medical Director of the HeartBeats Life Center in New Orleans and member of the steering committee investigating the drug BiDil.