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Pearson Says Sorry Over Bigoted Textbook

One U.K. based book publishing company found themselves under fire after folks found something they put out to be racist. Pearson describes themselves as the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment. This particular textbook for nurses featured a page, alerting nurses-to-be of several “types” of patients. The text went on to list each race and what to expect when that particular group felt pain.


  • May not request pain medicine but instead thank Allah for pain if it is the result of the healing medical process.
  • Pain is considered a test of faith. Muslim clients must endure pain as a sign of faith in return for forgiveness and mercy.


  • Chinese clients may not ask for medication because they do not want to take the nurse away from a more important task.
  • Indians who follow Hindu practices believe that pain must be endured in preparation for a better life in the next cycle.


  • Blacks often report higher pain intensity than other cultures.
  • They believe suffering and pain are inevitable.


  • Jews may be vocal and demand assistance.
  • They believe pain must be shared and validated by others.


  • Hispanics may believe that pain is a form of punishment and that suffering must be endured if they are to enter heaven.
  • They vary in their expression of pain. Some are stoic and some are expressive.

Native Americans

  • Native Americans may prefer to receive medications that have been blessed by a tribal shaman.

  • They may pick a sacred number when asked to rate pain on a numerical pain scale.

Yikes. The President of Pearson offered his public apology after the faux paux. He says they’ve removed the page from future editions of the books and are recalling existing version of the nursing book.

Well, that was a pretty thorough and sincere apology.



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