November 13, 2004


Race-Based Medicine Continued... (NICHOLAS WADE, 11/14/04, NY Times)

The emergence of BiDil, described last week in The New England Journal of Medicine, is a sharp reality test for an academic debate about race and medicine that has long occupied the pages of medical journals. Is there a biological basis for race? If there is not, as many social scientists and others argue, how can a drug like BiDil work so well in one race? Even if there were a genetic reason for race, why drag race into medicine when a physician's only concern is with the specific genes that predispose to disease?

Advances stemming from the human genome project are likely to produce many new diagnostic tests and treatments tailored to specific population groups, including races and ethnicities within races. BiDil, however, had nothing to do with the genome project. It is a combination of two old drugs, invented some 30 years ago by Dr. Jay N. Cohn, a physician at the University of Minnesota. On its first trial, in a general population, it didn't seem particularly effective. But in reanalyzing the data a few years ago, Dr. Cohn found it had worked well in a specific group of patients, who happened to be black.

The Food and Drug Administration said it would license the drug if a second trial confirmed the result. The new trial, conducted with the help of the Association of Black Cardiologists, had to be stopped when it became clear the drug was so effective that it would be unethical to deny it to the control group.

This month, in a special issue on race published by the journal Nature Genetics, several geneticists wrote that people can generally be assigned to their continent of origin on the basis of their DNA, and that these broad geographical regions correspond to self-identified racial categories, such as African, East Asian, European and Native American. Race, in other words, does have a genetic basis, in their view.

Darwinists, attempting to cover the trail of eugenics, genocide, Holocaust, and the like they left in their wake, have tried in recent years to pretend that race is a social construct. Luckily even other biologists don't take them seriously these days.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 13, 2004 8:41 PM

of course it's genetic. hell, there are hundreds of diseases that strike some races more than others, including the thalassemias (mediterranean descent), sickle cell, etc. some might argue it has more to do with geographic location as opposed to genetics, but as this BiDil study shows, there's more to race than the BS about 'social construct'.

Posted by: poormedicalstudent at November 13, 2004 10:07 PM

This is the cleft stick which the secularists have gotten themselves into. Absent Devine Positive Law and Natural Law as informed by Right Reason, members of a race whose traits are less adaptive to the economic system is which they find themselves are so much soap-bait.

Therefore when science takes us where we don't want to go, well, it just has to be wrong. Does this not illustrate why religion facilitates real progress? I can accept any scientific fact and still love my neighbor as myself. But if a secularist sees data which suggests human variation, he has no choice but to start thinking about life that is unworthy to be life.

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 14, 2004 3:47 AM