Week 6 Reflection

Truthly speaking, one of this week’s articles with the title of “The Reificationof Race in Health Research” really managed to attract my atention. This is an sceintific journal which reserached the connection between health, diesease and race, thus denied the prejudice that illness is related to any part of racial factors. I believe the idea that consider the association between race and illness importantly is significantly incorrect and personally insist that this is an insult to the results achieved by modern scientific reseraches and studies upon the key word “race”. I strongly agree with the socialist Troy Duster’s idea named “prism of heritability”, which critically illustrates that “disease is uncritically linked to individuals because of racial assignment and categorically disassociated from other populations”. Two vivid examples are displayed within this article, which strongly supports the Troy’s theory.

In example A, social reserach indecates that black people is most likely to consume more tabacoo later in life than white, thus tabacoo merchants typically consider blacks as their primary costumers. Meanwhile, blacks are more likely to suffer from diesease like lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, low birth weight, and infant mortality. However, according to a research focusing on a genetic basis for differences between African Americans and non-Hispanic European Caucasians, non-Hispanic black smokers have significantly higher levels of serum cotinine than either white or Mexican-American smokers, although they are reported that two groups have smoked the same number of cigarettes a day. Clearly black smokes more than whites is a biological issue, instead of racial problems.

Example B mainly focused on the field of pharmacogenomics, which creates drugs for “individuals by matching medicines to patients’ personal genetic codes”. Within this example, most public media and comments refer the effectiveness of drugs to racail factors, they consider different racical groups have distinctive physical reflection on biochemical agent that significantly supports the metabolism of the drug. One of the newly approved glaucoma drugs developed by the Food and Drug Administration indecates that it is “the first glaucoma drug to demonstrate greater effectiveness in black patients”. Several scientific methods have been processed such as the procedure of SNP and NIH, in order to establish genetic data base for future use.


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