Western medicine is being used as a weapon in the fight against racism, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine said in a statement.
The report is based on interviews with more than 1,200 doctors, nurses and pharmacists from across the country, who spoke to Bloomberg News about the use of Western medicine and its impact on racialized communities.
“We’re in the midst of an era where we’re losing the battle to reverse the negative effects of racism, but the consequences of that have been devastating,” said John A. Brown, executive director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
“The use of modern medicine to fight racism is creating the conditions that have allowed racism to flourish, while also contributing to the deterioration of the nation’s racial makeup.”
A number of studies, including one by the Center on Race and Health, have shown that the use and misuse of modern medical techniques, including acupuncture, is being utilized in racialized settings.
One of the most recent studies found that the rate of white doctors being black or Hispanic is now twice that of other races, while the use by African Americans and Latinos of traditional Chinese medicine was increasing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also noted that black people are more likely to be prescribed opioids than whites.
“If we want to address this issue, we need to address it in a way that recognizes the diversity of our people and respects their human rights,” Brown said.