Theories about inherent racial characteristics, both those purporting to be scientifically (empirically) based and those emanating from the “soft” sciences, have changed dramatically over the past century and a half. As David McBride notes, the basis for research about the etiology of disease and the provision of health care in the United States has been and continues to be empirically questionable. McBride further argues that the American health care approach has been significantly influenced by cultural, social, and economic factors which had little or no relation to scientific truth.

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