Today, the American journal NEJM published an article discussing the risk of abandoning race and ethnicity in biomedical research due to “racial injustice inflicted by the use of race and ethnicity as biological constructs” to engender unfair discrimination. In a previous article, entitled Thousands of autistic girls and women going undiagnosed’ due to sex bias, our Observatory concluded that prejudices could affect biomedical research.
The article continues, considering that genetic ancestry has improved the understanding of diseases and their diagnosis, and facilitated accurate interventions in different patient groups. Furthermore, variables based on race and ethnicity will never disappear, given their epidemiologic importance.
The authors affirm that genetic research has advanced our knowledge of human diseases and effective therapies that could promote health equity in all groups.
They concluded that, “[…] given the emergence of precision medicine and the persistent salience of overt racism, abandoning race/ethnicity without substituting better disease predictors not only is irresponsible but also ignores the reality of U.S. social stratification and its implications for population health.” From our point of view, prejudices based on ideological reasons could affect biomedical research. One example is the current treatment of transgender children, while another is blocking biomedical studies on detransitioning or transgender reversal (read HERE and HERE).