The US medical system is still haunted by slavery



at the edge of Central Park in Manhattan there's a bronze statue of a doctor named James Marion Sims whose brilliant achievement carried the fame of American surgery throughout the entire world he's the guy who created the vaginal speculum an instrument gynecologists used for examination he pioneered the surgical repair for fistula a complication from childbirth and became known as the father of modern gynecology but that brilliant achievement was the result of a series of excruciating experimental surgeries that he conducted on enslaved women in a lot of ways sims epitomizes the story of American medicine for black women it's a system that's failing them to this day from infant mortality to life expectancy the racial disparities in healthcare are staggering the gulf between black and white might be widest when we look at maternal mortality with black women three to four times more likely to die in connection with pregnancy or birth than white women and that divide can be traced back to doctors like Simms who contributed to a long largely overlooked history of institutional racism in medicine trying to understand a historical problem without knowing its history it's like trying to treat a patient without eliciting a thorough medical history you're doomed to failure doc Harriet Washington a medical ethicist and author who chronicled the intersection of race and medicine in her book medical apartheid while many of the stark racial disparities in healthcare can be attributed to environmental and economic factors like access to good health care studies show that minority patients tend to receive a lower quality of care than minorities even when they have the same types of health insurance or the same ability to pay for care as african-americans we've been abused for so long consistently by the system why should we trust it why should we go to an ill and that's a otra phobia that's a fear of the healer you know inculcated by the behavior of those here the healers unfortunately it starts with slavery doctors relied on slave owners for financial stability they accompanied plantation masters to auctions to verify the fitness of slaves and were called in to treat sick slaves to protect their owners investments in 1807 Congress abolished the importation of slaves and in turn pushed black woman to have more children to essentially breed slaves founding father Thomas Jefferson later wrote I consider a woman who brings a child every two years as more profitable than the best man on the farm around the 1830s the abolitionist movement led to the rise of what was called Negro medicine or efforts to identify black inferiority to justify slavery and there were polygenesis who tried to use both science and the Bible to find proof that races evolved from different origins the 1830s also marked the beginning of recorded experimentation on black women's bodies one doctor performed experimental c-sections on slaves another one perfected the dangerous ovary atomy or removal of an ovary by testing the procedure on slave women in fact half the original articles in the 1836 southern medical and surgical journal dealt with experiments on black people and then of course there was James Marion Sims whose reputation is etched in history and on that statue in Central Park between 1845 and 1849 Sims began performing experimental surgeries on a 17-year old slave named an ARCA he eventually performed 30 operations on an ARCA and more surgeries on about 11 other female slaves when his male colleagues could no longer bear to assist him in inflicting pain on the women the slaves took turns restraining one another yet paintings depicting Sims an ARCA and other slave women presented a subdued version of his experiments even though anesthesia was introduced in 1846 Sims chose not to use it for his experimentation with slaves his practices echoed one of the most prevalent and dangerous beliefs in medicine at the time that black people did not feel pain or anxiety this book from 1851 titled the natural history of human species claimed the American dark races bare with indifference tortures insupportable to a white man studies released as recently as last year demonstrate that black people are less likely to be treated for pain particularly in the ER there's even one from a Children's Hospital that found the same to be true for kids and just this year Pearson Education a leading educational publisher issued an apology and recalled nursing textbooks that included racist stereotypes like this section that said black people often report higher pain intensity than other cultures well what does it mean when you say that someone doesn't feel pain among other things you're speaking about their humanity these are all part of that suite of beliefs emanating from the 19th century that we still have not shaken huh despite all our knowledge and sophistication they're deeply ingrained doctors like Simms might fit the dr. Frankenstein stereotype but they weren't outliers historically southern doctors who used black bodies for troubling experiments were the norm it's a very common question how can we judge our forebears you know those guys in the 18th century or practiced medicine the way that appalls us today you know we think how could you do that I did not judge the practitioners based on our own ethics I judge them based on the ethics of their time it was not acceptable back then we just did not hear from the people who protested against it after the Civil War ended the 1900s brought a wave of immigrants to the US it sparked a race panic and coincided with the birth of the American eugenics movement one of the movements key objectives was to reduce the childbearing potential of the poor and disabled leaders included birth control pioneer and Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger who eventually devised the controversial Negro project or family planning centers that pushed birth control in the black south it was a project that even garnered support from W EB Dubois a founder of the n-double a-c-p who wrote that black people bred carelessly and disastrously by the mid 1930s more than half the states passed Pro sterilization laws and often sterilization was forced in 1961 future civil rights leader fannie lou hamer went to the hospital to have a tumor removed but was subjected to a hysterectomy without consent the procedure which rendered women infertile without their knowledge was so common in the South that Hamer is said to have dubbed it the Mississippi appendectomy african-american babies were no longer economically valuable and african-americans themselves had gone from being a resource to a nuisance in June of 1973 the SPLC uncovered 100 to 150 thousand cases of women who had been sterilized with federal funds in Alabama half the women were black in recent decades women of color continued to be exposed to Julius reproductive health programs in December 1990 the FDA approved a contraceptive called Norplant and it was selectively marketed to black teenagers in Baltimore schools fans like David Duke the former KKK Grand Wizard even introduced legislation to give women on welfare an annual reward of $100 if they agreed to get more plans that bill never passed but the implant ignited a debate on whether long-term contraception like Norplant the lasted five years could be used as a form of social engineering when pushed to specific communities today as we continue to lose black mothers at alarming rates a deeper look at the past may be a good step towards creating a more equitable health care system hi guys thanks for watching of course there's a lot more to the history of how the US medical system has mistreated people of color than we could fit in the video everything from the Tuskegee experiments to Jim Crow laws segregating hospitals but we hope it starts to give some context to the racial disparities we see in medicine today ProPublica has been reporting on the disparities in maternal mortality in the US and how it's the most dangerous industrialized country in which to give birth check out that feature piece in the link below and we're seeking your help in understanding the problem so if you nearly died during pregnancy or you know someone who died due to childbirth related complications then check out that link in the description thanks again

37 comments

  1. It’s a shame that ridiculous and senseless YouTube channels receive less dislikes than this important, informed video that really needs to be acknowledged

  2. Margaret Sanger was against Black People. Planned Parenthood makes the profit off of abortions.

  3. Wow, amazing, informative, invaluable video: until the filmmaker got on the screen at the end, and used SEXIST. MISOGYNIST language to address the audience: "Hi GUYS," she said.

    Wow! Why are you using hate language to address us? Do you have ZERO knowledge of the history of men's erasure of women, and women's obligatory participation in that, out of threat from men if women didn't?

    Why are you erasing women by calling us "GUYS"? We are not males! Why do women say that, as if it's some kind of compliment to erase who we and each other are, as women? Oh, it's just a convention, you say? You didn't really "mean it that way"?

    Well, every act of racism documented in your video was "convention."

    So you seriously think that erasing women from language became a convention by accident? By coincidence? That it has nothing to do with the herstory of misogyny? Of female slavery? Of women being considered non-human animals? Of not being citizens? That men have not been doing everything in their power to erase women every which way they could from the time we evolved from apes? And still do, to this day?

    If the convention were to say, "Hey, whites," or "Hey, straights," or "Hey, wealthy people," or "Hey, U.S. citizens," would you say it? Would you excuse your doing so? Would you rationalize it?

    You need to stop being so narrow minded in your study of history. You need to study herstory: women's story, from every culture, including your own, to have a good understanding of social justice and the herstory of.oppression.

    Don't let."GUYS" ever cross your lips again. Ever. Unless you are referring to a male-only group that you wish to remain male-only. Because referring to a group as "GUYS" will ensure biological women are excluded.

    If you do, it will prove that you dint care about women or womens oppression. Because after being exposed to this comment about your internalized misogyny, if you got it, if you understood, if you cared one whit about other women and yourself, it would be unthinkable to you to repeat that word, ever again.

  4. I don’t want to be very arrogant but why is it an Indian one who associates Black people as « people of color » ? We’re on our own, Black people never get the support we need except our own and people of color include Asian and Latin people…i don’t think they get the same treatment Black women got at slavery so I find it offensive to compare us as such different individuals. No wonder white folks did many genocides in every race since they’re the ones who colonized the entire world but Black ancestors pain is on another level…it’s not just colonialism it’s déshumanisation, slavery, abuse, mistreatment, cruelty and many forms of racism I can’t even explain…

  5. Pearson is still very racist. In one of my textbooks, it said something like "if a teacher openly corrects an African American student, they will most likely act out". I went to school with only two white students and i can promise discipline is a low-income issue not a black people issue

  6. “Half of them were black” I’m curious who the other half of women sterilized were, Native American? Or just white?

  7. While they were discussing what the doctor who has a statue did, it reminded me of Josef Mengele, a holocaust doctor who experimented on prisoners. It makes me absolutely sick that he has a statue.

  8. I dont see anyone talking about the fact that he also killed many black babies by expermenting on their skulls see the thing is there is no justifying this at all i cant believe people praise him

  9. I HATE THIS I HATE HOW BLACK PEOPLE WERE MADE TO FEEL BY WHITE PEOPLE ….IT WAS NOT RIGHT AT ALL….I AM SO MAD AND ANGRY AT THIS SOMETIMES I FEEL I HAVE TO KEEP AWAY FROM WHITE PEOPLE

  10. black ppl watch how white ppl show they're real colours. It's hat white mentality passed on from there ancestor. the jewish and black woman are strong for what they've gone through

  11. And America says they are not racist but still have statues of men like this around the country . It's like having a statue of Hitler up in Germany streets .

  12. I suffer from Trigeminal neuralgia and IIH. I can’t count the times that I have literally had to scream and cry out in pain for a nurse or doctor to believe me! The systematic racism in the healthcare industry is very real!

  13. As an African person I feel sick to my stomach watching this. I am learning about African and American history and I am heart broken for these people and what they went though omg. White people the most evil people to walk on this earth. Truly inhuman and disgustingly evil

  14. The whites/Europeans have done this all over the world, equating their whiteness was superior to others. But people are waking up.

  15. the one great thing of youtube is that i learn much about my history by just a click of the mouse, no more excuses to be ignorant

  16. It’s haunted by corruption, not some ancient 100 year old practice. I don’t care unless this was done to someone NOW.

  17. Fianly people are starting to see the horrors of margret sangener, she is a true racist and the stater for about (mass geneocide)

  18. THIS IS WHY I WONDER , WHY . AND I SEACHED AND CAME TO THE ANSWER. DEUTERONOMY 28 IN OUR BOOK THE BIBLE THAT THEY KILLED OUR GREATEST GRAND PARENTS FOR IF THEY WERE CAUGHT READING IT FOR IT IS OUR STORY . ALL THE NATIONS WILL PAY FOR THE KILLING OF GOD CHOSEN PEOPLE , SOON THIS WILL NOT JUST BE A BOOK REPORT OR SOMETHING THE SIBLING OF OUR ANCESTOR KILLER'S CAN SIT BY THE FIRE PLACE AND ADMIRE THE KILLING OF OUR PEOPLE IN SECRET WHILE THEY STILL USE THE BLOOD MONEY THAT CAME OFF THE BACKS OF ARE GREAT, GREAT GREAT GRAND PARENTS THAT MADE THEM RICH WHILE THEY CONTIUNE THE KILLING THOUGH THEIR NEW KKK THE SYSTEM THEY DESIGNED TO KEEP US IN CHAINS AND THE WHITING OUT OF OUR PEOPLE. WE NEED NOT YOUR PITY, FOR IF IT WAS SINCERE YOUR WOULD GIVE BACK THE LAND AND THE MONEY YOUR ANCESTOR AND YOU STOLE AND LIVE OFF TODAY . FOR OUR ANCESTOR SOUL CRY FROM THE GRAVE GOD FOR GIVE US AND GIVE US JUSTICE FOR WE OUR THE APPLE OF YOUR EYE . AWAKE O ISRAEL FOR THE NATIONS KNOW WHO WE ARE, NOW WE MUST LEARN. SHALOM

  19. Just because your ancestors suffered doesn’t mean you suffered. Slavery was bad but none of us went through it so why are we acting like the victims.

  20. I always love hearing how the gov doctors have special tests for "african americans" … but how can they when africans more genetically diverse than so called whites/euros? should be other way around if they were honest…. but they are not sadly

  21. I am from europe and I dont know if this is the reason why, but it is so hard to wrap my head around this. It is so unbelievably dumb to think because of someones skin color – they worked any different than me biologically. I am sure those poor poor women were screamig of pain. How can you explain that to yourself? Cant comprehend the thought behind this. 🙁

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published