Skin Color and Race in Clinical Medicine

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Abstract

To the editor: The statement by Rothschild and Hunter (1) that “Skin color as a designation of race is an arbitrary sociologic classification and rarely, if ever, adds to our diagnostic, pathogenic, or therapeutic knowledge” is out and out nonsense. Imagine evaluating a patient with a congenital anemia without knowing the patient's race. The authors applaud those journals that bowdlerize reference to race except in selected instances; such censorship can only interfere with the recognition of whatever role race may have in human disease and is to be deplored. Race is a biologic datum, whatever else men have made of

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