Bioethics and Black Lives

Center coauthors call for bioethics to speak against racial injustice in Hastings Center essay



On May 25, George Floyd could not breathe while his neck was trapped under the knee of a police officer for nearly nine minutes. Yet despite the  impressive scholarship of bioethics on ventilation and other technologies that prolong human breathing capabilities, it is largely silent on the suffocating effects of racism. Not speaking out has also been an unfortunate pattern within bioethics in other cases of violent loss of black life as a result of police brutality, such as Eric Garner who was refused CPR, and Freddie Gray who was refused prompt health care

If these events of injustice have such strong ties to bioethics, then why the silence?

Coauthors Zamina Mithani, MBE '20, Jane Cooper, MBE '20, and J. Wesley Boyd, Center for Bioethics faculty and HMS associate professor of psychiatry, discuss ways to unpack implicit and explicit, communal and individual, racial biases, in the Hastings Center Bioethics Forum Essay, "Bioethics and Black Lives: A Call for Bioethics to Speak Against Racial Injustice."

Read the full essay here.