Get Published | Subscribe | About | Write for Our Blog    

Author Archive: Keisha Ray

About Keisha Ray


By Keisha Ray, PhD 

I have been interviewed by many journalists who are writing articles about the COVID-19 vaccines and Black people. Most of the interviews are very similar; journalists want to know how do medicine’s and public health’s past abuses of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people affect their willingness to trust medicine and get vaccinated against COVID-19. After making it clear that it is not people of color (POC) that need to work on their trust of medicine but that it is medicine who needs to work on its ability to be trusted, I tell journalists that medicine must do three things: 1) Acknowledge the problem, namely that medicine is not trustworthy in the eyes of many POC; 2) Apologize for past and current abuses of POCs bodies and minds and apologize for medicine’s role in structural racial inequality; and 3) Correct the way it treats POC, including remedying provider bias and racially biased diagnostic and therapeutic tools. …

Full Article


Calling health care workers, heroes when you put this many people in a stadium is nothing but lip service.

Full Article


by Keisha Ray, PhD

In the past I have written on the concept of Black bioethics and when a mob of White domestic terrorists attacked the US Capitol last week I couldn’t help but think of the health of Black people watching these attacks. I thought of the psychological effects, such as mental anguish and anxiety they would cause for Black people. I thought of the stress these attacks must cause Black people and the very real adverse biological effects of stress on Black people, a population who already has disproportionate rates of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, all which are worsened by stress. I thought of the health effects of feeling disturbed, angry, sad, marginalized, mistreated, and all the other emotions we can imagine Black people might feel after seeing images of White people cause terror with little to no punishment from law enforcement and instead receiving kindness and understanding for their emotions and actions. The…

Full Article


by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

With Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna/National Institutes of Health producing a viable vaccine for COVID-19 (along with two other companies on the precipice of also producing viable vaccines) and with distribution set to begin in just a few weeks for many health care providers, people have questions about when they will receive the vaccine. The New York Times has created a vaccine calculator in which you can input information about yourself such as your age and whether you have pre-existing conditions which make you vulnerable to COVID-19, and other information to then get an estimate of when you can expect to get the vaccine. On the CDC website the agency has answered a series of questions about the vaccine, including questions about the cost of the vaccine (no cost to the individual, although some providers can charge an administration fee that can be covered by public and private health insurance or government relief fund for people without insurance). Whereas…

Full Article


by Keisha Ray, PhD 

This was originally given as part of the plenary session “What about the ‘H’ in ‘ASBH'”? at the 2020 annual meeting of The American Society of Bioethics and Humanities

As many of you may recall, when you are junior bioethicist, like myself, you often get a lot of unsolicited advice from more senior bioethicists. One piece of advice that I have received beginning in grad school days and as recently as a few months ago, is to make my work distinctly bioethics. From what I gather from this advice is that I should make sure that my research projects follow the principles and methodologies of bioethics; that my work should not be confused for any other discipline. Similarly, I get told to make sure that my tenure file is solidly bioethics, which I take to mean that I should publish in top bioethics journals, get research grants from top health and scientific organizations, participate in bioethics, scientific, and medical research, and teach bioethics courses at my medical school. …

Full Article


Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Recently the term black bioethics has been having its moment. With the world’s recently increased attention to racial justice, institutional racism, and medical racism, there has been more attention to the relationship between black people and health and health care. I’ve found myself using the term and along with my blog co-editor we have even created a toolkit of helpful sources on the topic of black health that we titled #BlackBioethics. But as far as I can find, on social media the term black bioethics has only been used casually going back to 2018. Some scholars have used it as a way to gather black bioethicists at bioethics conferences given our small numbers.…

Full Article


This essay is part of a 2-part series on the burdens placed on black faculty in academic bioethics. The first part, by Craig Klugman, Ph.D. can be read by clicking here.


by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Since the killing of George Floyd and the protests that ensued, the amount of free labor requested of me has been seemingly endless; everyday a new request comes in. I consistently have to balance my normal duties to my university, my students, the bioethics profession, and my research, along with new requests to perform free labor for the general public. On one hand I feel an obligation to respond to journalists’ requests for interviews, webinar requests, write articles and blogs, participate in education programs for students, faculty, and the general public because there are not a lot of bioethicists with expertise in black health who can meet the new demand for our expertise.…

Full Article


by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

I take the drug hydroxychloroquine, brand name Plaquenil, for an autoimmune disease. Hydroxychloroquine was once used to treat malaria and is now commonly used to treat a range of inflammatory disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. If this drug sounds familiar it is likely because it has frequently been in the news as a potential therapy for COVID19. During multiple press conferences the president has touted this drug as a potential cure for COVID19. Medical professionals like Dr. Anthony Fauci and state governors like New York governor Andrew Cuomo have discussed and debated the drug’s potential, drawing various conclusions about the limited studies that have been done on the drug.

Full Article


by Keisha Ray, Ph.D. 

 

On Monday my hometown of San Antonio, Texas declared a local public emergency after a woman who was quarantined for suspected exposure to Covid-19 was released from custody. It was only after the woman’s release that officials discovered her positive test and she returned to quarantine. For the past two weeks San Antonio’s Lackland Air Force Base has been the home of 122 people, including this woman who were evacuated from the Diamond Princess Cruise ship where they spent 2 weeks in quarantine after confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus on the ship. After the evacuee was released she visited various locations in San Antonio including the very popular mall North Star Mall.…

Full Article


by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Like others in our WebMd culture I often go to the internet to research my symptoms, looking for possible solutions. When a physician gives me a medical diagnosis I will often go to the internet and research the diagnosis. The internet was particularly helpful when I fractured my ankle and when I was going through dermatological therapies. While I was going through therapies for these injuries and disorders what I found was that the internet’s greatest contribution was its communities of people who had some of the same experiences as myself. Their experience and suggestions on how to properly convey your symptoms to a doctor, what therapies worked for them, how they remedied the side-effects of drug therapies were invaluable to me.…

Full Article