Bioethics, Race, and Contempt

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 18 (1):13-22 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The U.S. healthcare system has a long history of displaying racist contempt toward Black people. From medical schools’ use of enslaved bodies as cadavers to the widespread hospital practice of reporting suspected drug users who seek medical help to the police, the institutional practices and policies that have shaped U.S. healthcare systems as we know them cannot be minimized as coincidence. Rather, the very foundations of medical discovery, diagnosis, and treatment are built on racist contempt for Black people and have become self-perpetuating. Yet, I argue that bioethics and bioethicists have a role in combatting racism. However, in order to do so, bioethicists have to understand the workings of contemptuous racism and how that particular form of racism manifests in U.S. healthcare institutions. Insofar as justice is part of the core mission of bioethics, then antiracism must also be part of the mission of bioethics.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,369

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Contempt as a moral attitude.Michelle Mason - 2003 - Ethics 113 (2):234-272.
Virtuous contempt (wu 惡) in the Analects.Hagop Sarkissian - forthcoming - In Justin Tiwald (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Chinese Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press.
Racism and Bioethics: The Myth of Color Blindness.Clarence H. Braddock Iii - 2020 - American Journal of Bioethics 21 (2):28-32.
Contempt: The Experience and Intersubjective Dynamics of a Nasty Emotion.Ingrid Vendrell Ferran - 2017 - In John J. Drummond & Sonja Rinofner-Kreidl (eds.), Emotional Experiences: Ethical and Social Significance. New York: Rowman & Littlefield International.
Wollstonecraft and the political value of contempt.Ross Carroll - 2015 - European Journal of Political Theory 18 (1):1474885115593762.
How contempt became a passion.Ross Carroll - 2019 - History of European Ideas 45 (3):346-362.
Contempt: At the Limits of Reactivity.Michelle Mason - 2018 - In The Moral Psychology of Contempt. Rowman & Littlefield International. pp. 173-192.
Is Contempt Redeemable?Ronald de Sousa - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy of Emotion 1 (1):23-43.


Added to PP

31 (#519,777)

6 months
6 (#531,083)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Yolonda Wilson
Howard University