Pearson apologises for publishing 'racist' material in nursing textbook

Friday, October 20, 2017

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WASHINGTON, United States (AFP)— Publishing giant Pearson has apologised for material in a nursing textbook which has been criticised as culturally and racially offensive.

The objectionable section in the textbook was brought to the attention of the publisher by an uproar on social media this week.

The Pearson Education book, "Nursing: A Concept-Based Approach to Learning," contains a page on "Cultural Differences in Response to Pain".

It purports to provide advice to nurses on how different ethnic or religious groups may react to pain.

Arabs and Muslims "may not request pain medicine but instead thank Allah for pain if it is the result of a healing medical procedure," the book says.

"Chinese clients may not ask for medication because they do not want to take the nurse away from a more important task," it says.

As for Blacks, they "often report higher pain intensity than other cultures" and "believe suffering and pain are inevitable," it says.

Jews, according to the book, "may be vocal and demand assistance" and "believe pain must be shared and validated by others."

Tim Bozik, president of global product development at Pearson, apologised in a video posted on YouTube.

"I want to apologise," Bozik said.

"In an attempt to help nursing students think through the many facets of caring for their patients we reinforced a number of stereotypes about ethnic and religious groups," he said. "It was wrong.

"We should have been more thoughtful about the information we put into our curriculum," he said.

Bozik said the company had removed the page from e-versions of the textbook and current and future editions.

He said the company was also looking at ways to recall the existing edition with the offensive material.

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