Carte Blanche

Carte Blanche
The Erosion of Medical Consent

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

Carte Blanche is the alarming tale of how the right of Americans to say “no” to risky medical research is being violated. Patients' right to give or withhold consent is supposed to be protected by law, but for decades medical research has been conducted on trauma victims—who are disproportionately people of color—without their consent or even their knowledge.

Harriet A. Washington, the author of Medical Apartheid, is again exposing a large-scale violation of patient, civil, and human rights. She reveals that the abuse first began in the military: In 1990, the Department of Defense forced an experimental anthrax vaccine on ground troops headed for the Persian Gulf. After a 1996 loophole to federal law permitted research to be conducted even on private citizens, particularly trauma patients, the military has pressed ahead to impose nonconsensual testing of the dangerous and sometimes lethal blood substitute PolyHeme among civilians, quietly using it on more than 20,000 non-consenting victims. Since then, more than a dozen studies have used the 1996 loophole to give risky and potentially deadly drugs to patients without their knowledge, especially people of color, many of whom were already justifiably distrustful of racial bias in medicine. Carte Blanche is an exposé of a U.S. medical-research system that has proven again and again that it cannot be trusted.

 

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
  • On Sale: February 23, 2021
  • Pages: 184

Advance Praise

“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

 

About the author

Harriet A. Washington

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.