Hierarchies of Care in Quarantine

Sara Press // In early June, the New York City Department of Health confirmed that the first dog in the United States had tested positive for Covid-19.[1] Few details were known about the dog beyond his location, his breed, and his prognosis—it was believed he would recover. However, on July 11th, the details of this…

The Shifting Politics of Diagnosis: From Problem Patients to Niche Consumers

Sara Press // In 1851, the prominent American surgeon and psychologist Dr. Samuel A. Cartwright published an alarming report in the New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal: a disease had become increasingly prevalent among the South’s Black population and was causing slaves to run away from their white masters.[1] Cartwright coined this disease “drapetomania.” While the…

How to Read a Medical Study in Black History Month

Sarah Berry // Bioethics and black history are intertwined in the U.S. In 1972, a news story broke about a four-decade medical experiment in rural Tuskegee, Alabama that studied the untreated effects of syphilis specifically in black males. This study, funded and administered by the federal government, made headline news and, after an investigation, spurred…