Racism in medicine
The spectre must be exorcised
some readers' hearts and spirits will sink at this editorial, which marks the publication of a book on racism in medicine from the King's Fund, the London based health think tank. In the interests of the profession, patients, society, and perhaps even the future of humanity they should, however, reflect deeply on the painful dilemmas raised by the book.
Racism is the belief that some races or ethnic groups are superior to others, which is then extended to justify actions that create inequality. Some people deny that racism is commonplace in Britain, as it probably is in every modern society. Yet in a national representative survey by the Policy Studies Institute 20–26% of the “white” participants admitted to prejudice against Asian, Caribbean, or Muslim ethnic minorities. Some claim to be baffled by another plain concept, institutional racism. According to the Macpherson Report (on racism in the police), institutional racism is