Flat White

Woke medicine

22 November 2021

1:55 PM

22 November 2021

1:55 PM

As noted by Roger Kimball in the World section, politically correct language and mind control now infects the medical profession, as proven by the ‘Guide to Language, Narrative and Concepts’ published by the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges Centre for Health. No profession is safe. 

As expected in these Woke times, when the default position is always to express guilt for past sins and crimes, the American document begins by arguing better health can only occur after recognising the ‘country’s twin, fundamental injustices of genocide and forced labor’. 

Aspiring medical students, doctors and health workers, even though in no way responsible for the appalling treatment of native Americans in the past, are called on to pursue ‘racial justice, equity and liberation’ as ‘we carry our ancestors in us’. 

Instead of referring to the Hippocratic Oath telling doctors their primary duty is to care for their patients and to do no harm the document prioritises ‘health equity’; described as a scholarly domain and a central issue in medicine. 

As such the doctor’s duty is ‘to address all areas of marginalization and inequity due to sexism, class oppression, homophobia, xenophobia and ableism’.  And the first step is to understand the prevalence of ill health, disease and sickness is ‘directly related, indeed produced and reinforced by inequities in other parts of society’. 

Traditional and long accepted practices associated with Western medicine are guilty of emphasising ‘biological factors in the understanding and treatment of diseases (and of) excluding environment and social influences’. 

Cancer caused by smoking, heart disease and diabetes linked to obesity, poor diet and lack of physical activity are not the result of free will and personal choices, rather they arise because of ‘long-term, intersecting structural influences associated with social injustice’. 


If the high rates of ill health and sickness common to particular disadvantaged communities are to be addressed doctors need to focus on ‘the structures of power that create economic and social conditions’.  So much for personal responsibility. 

Given the impact of critical race theory (CRT) and neo-Marxist inspired critical theory, where Western societies are riven with structural racism, classism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia it should not surprise the document defines sexuality and race as social constructs imposed by those in society who have ‘power and privilege’. 

Contrary to what biology tells us about what constitutes sexuality and gender, where the overwhelming majority of babies are either girls with XX chromosomes or boys with XY, the document adopts a fluid and dynamic view where sex is ‘assigned at birth’ based on ‘a subjective evaluation of external anatomic structure(s)’.  

To believe otherwise is to be guilty of ‘cisgenderism’ and ‘cissexism’.  Race, instead of being based on any physical or biological characteristics, is also a social construct ‘created to concentrate power with white people and legitimize dominance over non-white people’. 

As expected the guide to ‘health equity’ provides a language guide to ensure doctors and health workers are not guilty of imposing whiteness on patients either deliberately or because of unconscious bias. 

Instead of describing groups as ‘vulnerable’ or ‘high-risk the PC alternative is the expression ‘groups that have been economically/socially marginalized’.  Words such as ‘target’, ‘tackle’ and ‘combat’ are also unacceptable as they have a violent connotation. 

Communities should never be described as ‘disadvantaged’ as this imposes as ‘deficit-based, rather than asset-based, model of people and communities’.  The preferred alternative is to describe such communities as ‘historically and intentionally excluded’ or ‘disinvested’. 

An ‘illegal immigrant’ is described as an ‘informally authorized migrant’ and doctors are told never to use words like ‘white paper’ or ‘blackmail’ as such words reinforce ‘white privilege’. 

While the health equity guide is American in origin its politically correct language is also evident in Australia.  Examples include midwives told not to use the expression breastfeeding and to say parenthood instead of motherhood.  

A guideline for the re-education of nurses and midwives when dealing with Aboriginal patients asks them to adopt ‘a decolonising model of practice based on dialogue, communication, power sharing and negotiation, and the acknowledgment of white privilege’. 

There’s no doubt George Orwell, the author of 1984, is correct when arguing one of the most effective ways totalitarian regimes enforce mind control and groupthink is by controlling language.  Orwell writes ‘But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought’. 

The slogan ‘War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength’ best illustrates how Big Brother indoctrinates and controls Oceania’s citizens by compelling them to believe what is contradictory and irrational.  To think otherwise is to be guilty of ‘thoughtcrime’. 

While not as oppressive and violent as Big Brother the way the cultural left enforces politically correct language and groupthink on Western societies also denies the freedom to communicate openly and to think independently. 

Dr Kevin Donnelly is a senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic University and author of Why Christianity Is Good For Us found at kevindonnelly.com.au.

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