Ethics Talk: The Generative Power of Abolition


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.

Read the transcript. 

Zahra H. Khan, MS teaches in the graduate Narrative Medicine Program at Columbia University in New York City and serves as co-chair of the university seminar, Narrative, Health, and Social Justice. Her writing, research, and community engagement emerge at the intersection of racial justice, health humanities, and disruptive pedagogy. She is also co-editor of The Life Jacket, a zine about liberation, third-world feminisms, and home.

Yoshiko Iwai, MS is a second-year medical student at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill. She is a graduate of Columbia University’s programs in narrative medicine and creative nonfiction, and her research includes carceral health, cancer care, and medical education.

Sayantani DasGupta, MD, MPH is a senior lecturer in the graduate Narrative Medicine Program, the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, and the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University in New York City. Originally trained in pediatrics and public health, she is the author or a coauthor of several academic books, a co-editor of Principles and Practices of Narrative Medicine (Oxford University Press, 2017), and a New York Times bestselling children’s author.

Recorded November 12, 2021


Conflict of Interest Disclosure
Interviewee(s) had no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Viewpoints expressed are those of interview participants and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.