Boston hospital released a new “Antiracist Agenda For Medicine” plan that it says will promote “racial equity” in health care.
“Offering preferential care based on race or ethnicity may elicit legal challenges from our system of colorblind law,” Harvard Medical School professors Bram Wispelwey and Michelle Morse wrote in the piece. “But given the ample current evidence that our health, judicial, and other systems already unfairly preference people who are white, we believe — following the ethical framework of Zack and others — that our approach is corrective and therefore mandated. We encourage other institutions to proceed confidently on behalf of equity and racial justice, with backing provided by recent White House executive orders.”
At the same time, a far more insidious, less public ruination of our medical profession is taking place.
Liberal Bari Weiss published a report by Katie Herzog on her site ‘Common Sense.’ Herzog interviewed doctors at some of our top medical schools and hospitals. What she found is deeply disturbing.
I’ll give you a summary but you really should read the article. It’s long but very informative and scary.
Bari Weiss introduces the article, saying, “I always thought that if you lived through a revolution it would be obvious to everyone. As it turns out, that’s not true. Revolutions can be bloodless, incremental, and subtle. And they don’t require a strongman. They just require a sufficient number of well-positioned true believers and cowards, like those sitting in the C-suite of nearly every major institution in American life.”
That about sums it up.
People Are Afraid to Speak Honestly
Doctors are trying to deal with the new ideology — wokeism, critical race theory, cancel culture, political correctness, social justice, anti-racism — but when they speak up, they lose jobs and their reputations are tarnished or ruined.
The physicians say it is damaging medical care.
For example, black women have trouble with vaginal deliveries, and Caesarians are often recommended. But doing the right thing can lead to charges of racism. The research on Black women giving birth is extremely poor and always blamed on race when all other kinds of societal factors and personal habits are more likely the cause.
“Some of these doctors say that there is a “purge” underway in the world of American medicine: question the current orthodoxy and you will be pushed out. They are so worried about the dangers of speaking out about their concerns that they will not let me [Ms. Herzog] identify them except by the region of the country where they work.”
She continued, “When doctors do speak out, shared another, “the reaction is savage. And you better be tenured and you better have very thick skin.”
They Will Be Punished
“We’re afraid of what’s happening to other people happening to us,” a doctor on the West Coast told me. “We are seeing people being fired. We are seeing people’s reputations being sullied. There are members of our group who say, ‘I will be asked to leave a board. I will endanger the work of the nonprofit that I lead if this comes out.’ People are at risk of being totally marginalized and having to leave their institutions,” she reports.
‘Whole Areas of Research Are Off-Limits’
Wokeness feels like an existential threat,” a doctor from the Northwest said. “In health care, innovation depends on open, objective inquiry into complex problems, but that’s now undermined by this simplistic and racialized worldview where racism is seen as the cause of all disparities, despite robust data showing it’s not that simple.”
He was referring to an extremely flawed study claiming racism is the cause of black women having problems giving birth. [A lot of black women are overweight or obese. As a result, they suffer from diabetes which increases the chance of having a heart attack, stroke, or preeclampsia, and that is ignored in most studies.]
One doctor said:
It’s some of the most shoddy, methodologically flawed research we’ve ever seen published in these journals,” the doctor in the Zoom meeting said, “with sensational conclusions that seem totally unjustified from the results of the study.”
“It’s frustrating because we all know how hard it is to get good, sound research published,” he added. “So do those rules and quality standards no longer apply to this topic, or to these authors, or for a certain time period?”
At the same time that the bar appears to be lower for articles and studies that push an anti-racist agenda, the consequences for questioning or criticizing that agenda can be high.
Herzog gives examples. One is of Dr. Norman Wang who argued for race-neutral hiring in his research paper. He was accused of racism on social media and the journal, JAHA issued an apology and removed his article and his research.
After the outcry, the American Heart Association (AHA), which publishes the journal, issued a statement denouncing Wang’s paper and promising an investigation. In a tweet, the organization said it “does NOT represent AHA values.
As criticism mounted, Wang was removed from his teaching fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh, and his boss reportedly told him that his classroom was “inherently unsafe” due to the views he expressed.
He is suing the AHA and the University of Pittsburgh.
Another example concerned the American Medical Association (JAMA) which released a podcast hosted by a surgeon and then-deputy journal editor Edward Livingston. They argued against hyper-focusing on racism because physicians aren’t racist. Both were suspended, JAMA apologized and the podcast was taken down.
Calling Out Patients
Patients who don’t toe the line are also called out. Neutrality among new doctors is now disappearing.
‘I’m Not Going to Treat That White Guy’
From the article:
There’s clearly a generation gap between these doctors on Zoom, the youngest of whom has been practicing for at least 10 years, and doctors just beginning their career. The older clinicians are more likely to appear politically neutral, at least at work, while younger students and clinicians are more likely to prioritize activism. Those differences can be a major source of tension.
One prominent organization, White Coats for Black Lives, was formed by medical students in 2014 and now has at least 75 chapters all over the U.S. In addition to publishing a Racial Justice Report Card that grades medical schools, the group encourages medical students to make specific demands of their institutions, including that medical schools and hospitals end all relationships with local law enforcement.
Herzog also writes: As another example of the generation gap, an ER doctor on the West Coast said he sees providers, particularly younger ones, applying antiracist principles in choosing how they allocate their time and which patients they choose to work with. “I’ve heard examples of Covid-19 cases in the emergency department where providers go, ‘I’m not going to go treat that white guy, I’m going to treat the person of color instead because whatever happened to the white guy, he probably deserves it.’”
Another doctor on the call, a psychologist, called the new orthodoxy a “moral panic” and “symbolic crusade,” like Prohibition, in which the outcome is less important than the sacredness of the movement.
“What happens with symbolic crusades is they overreach and you get a tremendous backlash,” he continued. “If hospitals actually adopt a policy of what can be construed as favoring black people in the ICU, can you imagine what conservative media would do with that? It would play into every fear that what this is really about is suppressing liberty, chilling free speech. I didn’t used to think those fears were legitimate. Now I do. I get it.”