FAIR in Medicine Fellow Dr. Aida Cerundolo writes about the dangers of patients being viewed through a racial lens.
People forget that doctors were at the forefront of "the final solution" and belonged to the Nazi party at rates far higher than members of other professions. As soon as we stop seeing our primary responsibility as being to the individual human in front of us, we are going down a very dark path. And yet, every time I pick up a medical journal now, it seems as if at least half the content is about "social justice" or "equity" or "climate change." Perhaps the people who write these articles have good intentions. Perhaps they're just virtue-signalling. But let's do a little thought experiment: If I, as a physician, truly believe that my primary job is to promote racial "equity" (equality of outcome between racial groups) and to help reduce CO2 emissions, how will I treat, say, an elderly white patient with dementia? The logical answer would be to euthanize them. That, I fear, is where we are headed if we don't fight back against this insanity.
Thank you. This trend is highly concerning and often very far from based in principles of biology, let alone medicine. Rather than addressing racism, it paradoxically further embeds it, despite the ponderous literature (much before 2020...) pointing out how "race" is a socially constructed fiction. Looking at someone, guessing their "race", and making a social-justice inflected decision about how to partition care is misguided on so many levels. A truly advanced practice of medicine would be more informed by eg rapid genomic sequencing (precision medicine) in combination with family history rather than how curly someone's hair is, or the precise color of their skin.
What if we all "opt out"?? Just put "other" or "prefer not to say" or "mixed race"? I'm serious! They can't force you to declare your race! Without a DNA test it's largely conjecture anyway. JUST SAY NO TO RACE!
The individual person in front of you--that's how to think of any person with whom you speak or interact. Not their immutable physical characteristics.
To bring about change would require courage and It’s in very short supply these days. We seem to be overpopulated by spinelessness. People in professions such as medicine that one would have thought had to possess some level of valor and integrity are rolled over in their first challenge. So they save their professional skins, if they even do that, and lose their humanity. What a high price to pay for acceptance by bullying goons in the AMA.
Courage is not completely depleted yet though. This article was written by the good Dr Aida Cerondolo, and we read it so we still have hope that the world has decent, courageous and concerned citizens. And even some doctors who prefer to be true to their oath rather than capitulate to woke ideology. At least they can sleep easy at night and look themselves in the mirror in the morning. There’s incalculable value in that.
"But linking immutable characteristics such as skin color with power and privilege in the medical setting rationalizes the distribution of care based on arbitrary factors in the name of a greater good called social justice. This hazards some patients with negatively designated characteristics as being viewed as less valuable than others, potentially impeding the care they need."
"The New York State Department of Health prioritized immutable characteristics when recommending that monoclonal antibodies and antivirals to treat COVID-19 be fast-tracked for those of 'non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity' because 'longstanding systemic health and social inequities have contributed to an increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.' This approach bypassed patients at risk for severe disease simply because they were born the wrong color."
How can these race-conscious attitudes, policies and practices not result in the systemic violation of laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin or ethnicity? Since the actors themselves and quite possibly the legislative and executive branches of state government are captured by racial and ethnic identity group politics, it is going to take a campaign of litigation to stop the abuses and restore the medical establishment to the status quo before George Floyd or whichever event normalized reverse discrimination.
Care must be taken to avoid engaging law firms such as the America First Legal Foundation, a project of the fascist Stephen Miller that is actively litigating against the excesses of America's progressives.
I have been waiting in anticipation for rational physicians to speak up and take back our healthcare.
As a cultural anthropologist I'm in agreement that typing of humans must change. At the same time as medicine, the government must also change its type casting.
Your last statements rang true years ago that practitioners were doing their best. I fear this is no longer the case as corporations looking at profits have greatly changed the entire system of health care. Perhaps a good subject to address
Scary and dangerous.