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Medical Ethics-A Conversation with Author Harriet Washington

  • Broadcast in Books



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Harriet Washington writes at the intersection of medicine, ethics and public policy.

Ms. Washington won a 1992 journalism fellowship to the Harvard School of Public Health, followed by a 1997-8 John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford.  She has written books on health, a medical-ethics column and articles for The New York Times, Health, New Scientist, theAmerican Scholar, and others, garnering awardsfrom groups such as PEN, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Her writing appears in publications such as the Harvard Public Health Review, Nature,theNewEngland Journal of Medicine andJAMA.

Ms. Washington won a Research Fellowship in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School from 2002-2005 and in 2007, her book Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Presentwas published to widespread acclaim, including the National Book Critics’ Circle Award. This was followed by Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself and the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Future which interrogates the profit motive as the chief driver of US medical research and policy.

Ms. Washington’s goals include the use of  investigative journalism to reveal  how best to examine medical paradigms and advocate for higher, patient-centered, ethical standards. One of her current interests is  the value of partnerships between foundations, global-health advocates and pharmaceutical corporations to bring life-sustaining treatments such as vaccines to the developing world.