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Home Outdated Harriet A. Washington, MA (Columbia), author of Medical Apartheid – Oct 7-8, 2021 Virtual Lecture Series & Community Read
Harriet A. Washington, MA

Harriet A. Washington, MA (Columbia), author of Medical Apartheid – Oct 7-8, 2021 Virtual Lecture Series & Community Read

Virtual Lecture Series ↓ | Community Read ↓

Virtual Lecture Series

Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL) is honored to be collaborating with The Center for Health Ethics, Arts, and Humanities (CHeEtAH); J. Willard Marriott Library; Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (EDI); School of Medicine Office of Health Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (SOM OHEDI) and The Tanner Humanities Center sponsoring three Virtual Presentations by Harriet A. Washington, MA (Columbia), the 2021 Max & Sara Cowan Memorial Lecturer & Priscilla M. Mayden Endowed Lecturer.

Author of: Carte Blanche: The Erosion of Medical Consent (2021) and Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present (2006)

Harriet A. Washington, MA (Columbia), is our 2021 Cowan Memorial Lecturer and 2021 Priscilla M. Mayden Lecturer.  She is a prolific science writer, editor and ethicist who is the author of the seminal Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Oakland Award, and the American Library Association Black Caucus Nonfiction Award and five other well-received books, including A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and its Assault on the American Mind as well as Carte Blanche: The Erosion of Informed Consent in Medical Research, published in 2021 by Columbia Global Reports.  Ms. Washington is a Writing Fellow in Bioethics at Harvard Medical School, a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, has been the 2015-2016 Miriam Shearing Fellow at the University of Nevada’s Black Mountain Institute. She has also been a Research Fellow in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School, a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, a visiting scholar at DePaul University College of Law and a senior research scholar at the National Center for Bioethics at Tuskegee University. She has held fellowships at Stanford University and teaches bioethics at Columbia University, where she delivered the 2020 commencement speech to Columbia’s School of Public Health graduates and won Columbia’s 2020 Mailman School of Public Health’s Public Health Leadership Award, as well as its 2020-21 Kenneth and Mamie Clark Distinguished Lecture Award. Washington has written widely for popular publications and has been published in referenced books and journals such as Nature, JAMA, The American Journal of Public Health, The New England Journal of Medicine, the Harvard Public Health Review, Isis, and The Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics. She has been Editor of the Harvard Journal of Minority Public Health, a guest Editor of the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics and served as a reviewer for the Journal of the American Association of Bioethics and the Humanities. Ms. Washington has also worked as a classical music announcer for public radio and curates a medical film series.

Virtual Lecture Events: Three opportunities to catch Harriet Washington in October

Questions? Contact:
Flyer PDF: Lecture Series Program
Program Website:

Oct. 7, 2021 Calendar

THURSDAY | October 7, 2021
12pm – 1pm MDT

INTERNAL MEDICINE GRAND ROUNDS: ‘A Hideous Monster of the Mind’: Medical Mythology and the Construction of ‘Blackness’
Livestream available at Internal Medicine Grand Rounds

Oct. 7, 2021 Calendar

THURSDAY | October 7, 2021
5:30 PM-7:00 PM MDT

EVENING ETHICS DISCUSSION: ‘Don’t Let the Lion tell the Giraffe’s Story’: How the Curation of History Hobbles Medical Ethics
via Zoom:, Passcode: 838654


Oct. 8, 2021 Calendar

FRIDAY | October 8, 2021
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM MDT

MAX AND SARA COWAN MEMORIAL LECTURES & PRISCILLA M. MAYDEN ENDOWED LECTURE: “Medical Apartheid and Beautiful Lies: Repeating the Past and Breaking the Cycle”
via Zoom: Passcode: 611870

Resource: Lecture Series Program

Community Read

Community Read

The Eccles Health Sciences Library will also be hosting this semester’s Community Read of Ms. Washington’s books: Carte Blanche AND Medical Apartheid.

TUESDAYS | SEPTEMBER 14 – October 26, 2021 | View events calendar
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM MDT
via Zoom: Registration is Required

Readings are listed and linked in the Community Read Explore the LibGuide.
Books are available in print via checkout or electronically via the Libraries’ online catalog:

Carte Blanche: The Erosion of Medical Consent

“Carte Blanche relates an alarming reality—how the right of Americans to say “no” to risky medical research is being systematically eroded. For decades, medical research has been “legally” conducted on trauma victims—who often are people of color—without their consent, or even their knowledge.  Harriet A. Washington, the author of Medical Apartheid, again exposes a large-scale violation of patient, civil, and human rights. In 1990, the Department of Defense forced an experimental anthrax vaccine on ground troops headed for the Persian Gulf. After two 1996 loopholes to federal law permitted research to be conducted even on private citizens, the military quietly used the dangerous blood substitute PolyHeme on non-consenting victims. Since then, more than a dozen studies have used the consent loopholes to impose risky and potentially deadly drugs and devices on research subjects without their knowledge, especially in people of color, many of whom were already justifiably distrustful of documented racial bias in medicine. Carte Blanche is an exposé of a U.S. medical-research system that has repeatedly shown that it is untrustworthy.”  – Columbia Global Reports

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present

Medical Apartheid – “The first full history of Black America’s shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment. No one concerned with issues of public health and racial justice can afford not to read this masterful book that will stir up both controversy and long-needed debate. From the era of slavery to the present day, starting with the earliest encounters between Black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, Medical Apartheid details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge—a tradition that continues today within some black populations. It reveals how Blacks have historically been prey to grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of Blacks. Shocking new details about the government’s notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions. The product of years of prodigious research into medical journals and experimental reports long undisturbed, Medical Apartheid reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and makes possible, for the first time, an understanding of the roots of the African American health deficit. At last, it provides the fullest possible context for comprehending the behavioral fallout that has caused Black Americans to view researchers—and indeed the whole medical establishment—with such deep distrust.” – Harlem Moon


Questions?  Contact:

Co-Sponsors of Community Read: Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL), Office of Health Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (UHealth OHEDI), Center for Health Ethics, Arts, and Humanities (CHeEtAH), Tanner Humanities Center, and The Black Cultural Center (BCC).

ACCME logoDISCLOSURE: None of the faculty or planners or anyone in control of content for this continuing medical education activity have any relevant financial relationships since the content does not cover any products/services of a commercial interest; therefore, there are no relevant financial relationships to disclose. AMA CREDIT: The University of Utah School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. All attendees are encouraged to use the CME system to claim their attendance. Physicians will be awarded AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™; all other professions will be awarded attendance at a CME event credit that they may use for their re‐credentialing purposes. All users will be able to print or save certificates. For questions regarding the CME system, please contact the UUCME Office. For questions regarding re‐credentialing process or requirements, please contact your re-credentialing organization. ACCREDITATION: The University Of Utah School Of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. NONDISCRIMINATION AND DISABILITY ACCOMMODATION STATEMENT: The University of Utah does not exclude, deny benefits to or otherwise discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, veteran’s status, religion, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or sexual orientation in admission to or participation in its programs and activities.  Reasonable accommodations will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request, with reasonable notice.  Requests for accommodations or inquiries or complaints about University nondiscrimination and disability/access policies may be directed to the Director, OEO/AA, Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator, 201 S President’s Circle, RM 135, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, 801-581-8365 (Voice/TTY), 801-585-5746 (Fax).