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Leon Hamilton

I agree with Linda Villarosa’s statement about leaving race out of the equation when dealing with the ill. The experiments that Hamilton did were used to further the explanation of how African Americans is an entirely different species than Caucasians. Medical procedures and prescription shouldn’t be based on studies of a man who deliberately tried to explain how African Americans are not equal. His studies also states that African Americans needed to be whipped so that a disease called Drapetomania, which made slaves disobey and runaway from slave owners would disappear. I believe that medical procedure should be determined solely on the patient's medical background, and the extent of their physical and/or mental wounds.

Jenell Agbeko

In her article “Myths About the Physical Racial Differences Were Used to Justify Slavery and are Still Believed by Doctors Today,” Linda Villarosa expresses her argument that the belief African Americans being impervious to pain, which stemmed from slavery, is still in practice today in the American healthcare system. She says during the time of slavery, racism drove every assumption made about Black people, and that it led to white doctors and slave owners to preform horribly inhumane experiments on slaves. As an example, Villarosa notes J. Marion Sims, coined the father of modern-day gynecology, and how he constantly experimented on black women by slicing up their genitals multiple times all before there was anesthesia. She also states that white doctors in more recent years also fall victim to the old belief that black people somehow aren’t as susceptible to pain as white people, because they have “thicker skin”. She thinks that the disconnect between old myths and the true reality would keep doctors from doing their job well in cases for black people. She argues that many doctors now are failing to properly treat the pain of black women and children and that elders going through hospice weren’t given sufficient pain relief in comparison to their white matches.

I strongly agree with Linda Villarosa’s argument and the points that she makes. It’s obvious that having a system that was implemented during times of extreme racism against black people would have problems. It is kind of scary to me as an African American woman that I could be going through unnecessary pain for an illness and the women next to me could be going through the same treatments pain-free. Also, it is very alarming to see the number of white doctors who still carry this idea as fact. I also feel that there really needs to be some action taken to reeducate some doctors on this misconception. When reading about it, you can see many instances of the pan of African American women being neglected, especially during childbirth and it is a part of the health care system that really needs to be reformed. I believe, knowing history tends to repeat itself, authoritative figures who actually care could find a way to help combat this problem.


2.Vilarosa found that the myth that black people have higher pain tolerance than white people still exists today and is greatly affecting the medical care of black patients. Research has found that African American patients are often given inadequate pain management by physicians when compared to white patients suffering from similar conditions. A survey in 2016, conducted among medical students, showed that at least half of the 222 students who participated in the research believed one or more of the myths about the physiological differences between black and white people, even though there is no scientific evidence to suggest these differences exist. When a physician has the notion that African American patients have a higher pain tolerance or less sensitive nerve endings, this will result in inadequate care and the doctor dismissing symptoms that could be life-threatening. In order to give black people the health care they deserve, these implicit biases and internalized racism must be addressed rather than pretending they don’t exist at all.

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