Friday, May 27, 2005

Race, medicine and multiculturalism

Dr. Ken Dombey:

Apparently, the medical community implicitly accepts Philippe Rushton's hypothesis that three major ancestral genetic pools exist. Beyond that, taxonomy becomes somewhat complex. However, physicians as a practical matter undoubtedly work with Steve Sailer's definition that races can be considered to be extended families.

In fact, on the government website for organ transplantation I found that this explicit statement:

"Matching donor organs to potential recipients requires genetic similarity. Generally, people are genetically more similar to people of their own ethnicity or race than to people of other races. Therefore, matches are more likely and more timely when donors and potential recipients are members of the same ethnic background."

Try telling minority patients, disproportionately represented on transplant waiting lists—largely for genetic reasons I would argue—that race is a "social construct."

Now the bad news. After honest discussion about varying racial predispositions to disease, most health care articles descend into obligatory diatribes about discrimination, bias, and needed government programs. It is ominously reminiscent of the quasi-Marxist race/gender/class deconstructionism that now goes on in English departments across the country after reading one of the Western classics.

One unfortunate article perfectly captured the danger of flouting racial genetic differences in the pursuit of social justice.

The authors actually proposed increasing overall morbidity in order to decrease the disparity in the allocation of kidney transplants between racial groups—itself a function of the fact that African-Americans and other minority groups are disproportionately prone to kidney disease. [And for a variety of reasons, less likely to be donors.] They suggested attempting fewer actual transplants in whites and accepting more organ rejections in minorities—because less compatible kidneys would have to be used—in order to equalize the statistical rate of transplantation.

This proposal would knowingly cause increased suffering, sickness, and even death. It is plainly unethical.

But the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine accepted and published this article! [Effect of Changing the Priority for HLA Matching on the Rates and Outcomes of Kidney Transplantation in Minority Groups]

It is astonishing to think that there are doctors out there who would be willing to deny their white patients kidney transplants in the interests of political correctness.


At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Albert said...

Pretty helpful info, lots of thanks for this article.
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