Carte Blanche

Carte Blanche
The Erosion of Medical Consent

“This is required reading to understand the context of this pandemic.” – Jelani Cobb

“Urgent, alarming, riveting, and essential.” - Ibram X. Kendi

Carte Blanche relates an alarming reality—how the right of Americans to say “no” to risky medical research is being systematically eroded. For decades, medical research has been legally conducted on trauma victims—who often are people of color—without their consent, or even their knowledge.

Harriet A. Washington, the author of Medical Apartheid, again exposes a large-scale violation of patient, civil, and human rights. In 1990, the Department of Defense forced an experimental anthrax vaccine on ground troops headed for the Persian Gulf. After two 1996 loopholes to federal law permitted research to be conducted even on private citizens, the military quietly used the dangerous blood substitute PolyHeme on non-consenting victims. Since then, more than a dozen studies have used the consent loopholes to impose risky and potentially deadly drugs and devices on research subjects without their knowledge, especially in people of color, many of whom were already justifiably distrustful of documented racial bias in medicine. Carte Blanche is an exposé of a U.S. medical-research system that has repeatedly shown that it is untrustworthy.

 

 

This book is published with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

 

 

 

Carte Blanche
  • ISBN: 978-1734420722
  • Price: $15.99
  • E-Book price: $15.99
  • E-book ISBN: 978-1734420739
  • On Sale: February 23, 2021
  • Pages: 184

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Advance Praise

“A tight and informative historical overview of the ways informed consent has been evaded.” — The Washington Post

“Urgent, alarming, riveting, and essential, Carte Blanche reveals that Americans, including African Americans, are still being medically experimented upon without their consent—yet again in research sanctioned by law. Harriet Washington’s powerful indictment of ongoing medical coercion unveils a gross violation of our human rights. It is vital reading at a moment when change is so necessary.”
Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist and Stamped From the Beginning

“Harriet Washington's new book Carte Blanche, about unsanctioned medical experimentation on Americans, is the most unsettling and alarming work I've read in a long time. This issue is not a relic of history. It's a problem RIGHT NOW. This is required reading to understand the context of this pandemic.” -- Jelani Cobb

“I want to thank Harriet Washington for her wonderful book. As a physician it was really engaging reading for so many reasons. It encompasses all the human conflicts and challenges we face when working in a fundamentally unjust system.” —Olajide A. Williams, MD, MS, Professor and Chief of Staff of the Department of Neurology at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

"An alarming indictment of exploitative medical research....Reprising evidence that she presented in Medical Apartheid (2007), Washington underscores her argument that African Americans historically have been victimized by researchers....An enlightening and well-supported examination of shocking malfeasance."
Kirkus Reviews

About the author

Harriet A. Washington
© Aaron Mayes

Harriet A. Washington is the author of Medical Apartheid, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN Oakland Award, and the American Library Association Black Caucus Nonfiction Award. She has been a research fellow in medical ethics at Harvard Medical School, a senior research scholar at the National Center for Bioethics at Tuskegee University, and the recipient of a John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford University. She lectures in bioethics at Columbia University. Her books also include A Terrible Thing to Waste and Infectious Madness. Follow her at @haw95.