Recent social movements calling for abolition of key instruments of anti-Black state violence, such as policing and incarceration, have initiated important conversations about the roles of abolitionist perspectives in making the US health sector more just. Medicine has many interfaces with hyper-punitive, deeply racialized exercises of state authority. These prompt consideration of when and how abolitionist approaches should inform practice and policy in health professions education, clinical care, and research to promote good health outcomes for everyone, motivate equitable access to health services, and ensure the material conditions of individual and community health and safety.
Zahra H. Khan, MS, Yoshiko Iwai, MS, and Sayantani DasGupta, MD, MPH
In 2020, the authors of this article published “Abolition Medicine” as one contribution to international abolitionist conversations responding to widespread anti-Black police violence and inequity laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic.
AMA J Ethics. 2022;24(3):E239-246. doi:
On this episode of Ethics Talk, Zahra H. Khan, Yoshiko Iwai, and Dr Sayantani DasGupta outline how “abolition medicine” can motivate critical responses to medicine’s expressions of hyper-punitive, deeply racialized exercises of state authority.
Aminta Kouyate joins Ethics Talk to discuss her article, coauthored with Drs Nhi Tran and Monica U. Hahn: “Why Professionalism Demands Abolition of Carceral Approaches to Patients’ Nonadherence Behaviors.”