Condemning Systemic Racism and Police Violence

June 11, 2020

The senseless deaths of Black citizens at the hands of police are unacceptable, and protests born out of frustration, anger, and inaction are an acute reminder that racism and the inequalities it fosters in our society are far from being addressed.

The Berman Institute of Bioethics’ mission includes taking on difficult and controversial ethical issues, to use our expertise to carry out clear analysis and make strong recommendations, to be thought leaders, to speak truth to power. Racism is unarguably a public health issue, and the COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on longstanding health inequities in our country, exacerbated by the structural racism that is prevalent in so many aspects of our society.

These are issues of justice, of ethics more generally, and of public policy—all features of what bioethics is and what the Berman Institute exists to do. Our work needs to focus more squarely and intentionally on the issues of inequality and social justice, both as they relate to the current moment and how they inform the society we want to build. Our work and our voices as an Institute and as individuals matter, and we will work together in the coming weeks and months to take on these issues and to do our part to help repair our broken and imperfect world.

Also see the Association of Bioethics Program Directors’ Statement on Violence, COVID, and Structural Racism in American Society, with numerous Berman Institute of Bioethics signatories.