Racial identity is a complex idea, particularly for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations. The idea of a single AI/AN race developed from a European-American view of phenotypic and cultural differences. It continues to have significant consequences for AI/AN populations within the clinical-medical context. For clinicians, using this flawed category in medical decision making poses ethical challenges and has implications for patient autonomy and justice. This article briefly traces the development of the idea of an AI/AN race, the concerns raised in using this identity marker, and the ethical implications of employing the categorization.
Gampa, V., Bernard, K., & Oldani, M. J. (2020). Medicine and society racialization as a barrier to achieving health equity for native americans. AMA Journal of Ethics, 22(10), E874–E881. https://doi.org/10.1001/amajethics.2020.874