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Medicine in black and white: how flawed race science influences our healthcare

You want your doctor to treat you as an individual. But clinical practice is warped by dubious—and sometimes outright dangerous— ideas about race

By Angela Saini   July 2019

Discredited ideas of racial difference still inform modern medicine. Photo: Prospect composite

When I was pregnant some years ago, a friend of mine—a doctor at a busy London hospital—told me that South Asian women tend to give birth earlier than other women. That passing comment was enough for me to begin cheerfully planning around the likelihood that my baby’s arrival was more imminent than I had thought. I prepared the nursery ahead of time. I confidently told my brother-in-law, who was visiting from overseas, that his nephew would…

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