, 14 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
I can’t get with arguments to the tune of ‘social justice is the core of medicine’ or ‘social justice is core to public health’ because both fields are so heavily rooted in eugenics. There is no eugenics (positive or negative) without medical & public health practitioners.
I mean, think of the convergence in the ‘harvesting’ of Henrietta Lacks’ cells without consent. The broader context of paternalistic health care provision- whereby impoverished & Black patients implicitly traded all privacy/right to consent for care in ‘charity’ hospitals.
Consider that in the context of the Flexner Report a few decades before- the closure of medical schools that trained Black doctors/nurses, the continued segregation of/closure of Black community-serving hospitals- which reinforced the sorting of Black PTs into charity hospitals.
Further, the development of pharmaceuticals relied on (& continues to) a pool of ‘disposable’ ‘naive’ Black & brown ‘bodies’. In the context of a LACK of a right to health care, we see this ethical slippage in clinical trial enrollment- esp WRT uninsured/un(der)employed people
(Bio)medicine & public health are state(-led) projects- even in the context of highly marketized health care & the absence of a right to health care. And the state is synergistic with the interests of capital (cf Murphy’s The Economization of Life).
Gonna stop there.

I am developing a project around this. Ask me in 5 years...
My main point is that *good intentions* do not transcend the structural arrangements & path dependence of systems. Power doesn’t work that way.
Heading off some of the responses that tweets like these invariably receive:

See my bio. It reads ‘critical public health.’ No false advertising here!
Here's an earlier thread on the way that public health researchers/practitioners define "racism" and its implications for resulting 'solutions'/interventions
Here's a good example of (bio)medicine's entanglement with the state & its enforcement of capital's interests: "race-adjusted" spirometer measurements as a means of undermining worker claims for adverse health outcomes borne of occupational exposures
Here's another example of how medical schools have historically benefited from deeply inequitable social arrangements- the morbid harvest of poor folks' bodies for anat/phys courses
Public health relies on the continued practices of 'morbid harvest' - Black & Native folks are disproportionately the subjects of autopsy for the purpose of public health data collection. There's also a rich history of resistance to these practices
Public health & medicine are implicated in the perpetuation of theories of racial "difference" vis a vis "biological difference" - freq. as justification for differential divisions of labor (chattel slavery; sorting by 'race' into dangerous occupations)
There's a great issue in the American Journal of Public Health on the topic, actually.

The volume includes Derickson (2019) “A Widespread Superstition”: The Purported Invulnerability of Workers of Color to Occupational Heat Stress ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/10.2105/AJ…
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