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The Use of Race as Proxy in Medicine for Genetic Differences

Root, Michael (2002) The Use of Race as Proxy in Medicine for Genetic Differences. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    Race is a prominent category in medicine. Epidemiologists describe how rates of morbidity and mortality vary with race, and doctors consider the race of their patients when deciding whether to test them for sickle cell anemia or what drug to use to treat their hypertension. At the same time, critics of racial classification say that race is not real but only an illusion or that race is scientifically meaningless. In this paper, I explain how race is used in medicine as a proxy for genes that encode drug metabolizing enzymes and how a proper understanding of race calls into doubt the practice of treating race as a marker of any medically relevant genetic trait.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: Ethical Issues, Science Policy, Science and Society, Biology, Biomedical Ethics, Race, Medicine
    Conferences and Volumes: [2002] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 18th Biennial Mtg - PSA 2002: Contributed Papers (Milwaukee, WI; 2002) > PSA 2002 Contributed Papers
    Depositing User: Program Committee
    Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2003
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:11
    Item ID: 1094
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/1094

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