A Boston hospital is preparing a new policy to offer preferential care to patients based on race. The proposed “pilot initiative” uses a “reparations framework” that focuses on “Black and Latinx patients and community members” and prioritizes their care.
In other words, sorry white people.
Amid a resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States and internationally, the explicitly racially-based health care program will be implemented later this spring at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a globally known medical center in Boston. The currently unnamed program is discussed at length in a March 17 article (“An Antiracist Agenda for Medicine”) authored by Bram Wispelwey and Michelle Morse and published in the Boston Review.
According to the article, the new “pilot initiative” uses a “reparations framework” that focuses on “Black and Latinx patients and community members,” who, according to the authors, have been “most impacted by unjust heart failure management and under whose direction appropriate restitution can begin to take shape.” They insist, moreover, that the Boston initiative be a “replicable pilot program” to be launched in hospitals across the country.
As The Washington Examiner reported:
Brigham and Women’s Hospital hospital says it will offer “preferential care based on race” and “race-explicit interventions” in an attempt to engage in an “antiracist agenda for medicine” based on critical race theory.
A Boston Review article titled “An Antiracist Agenda for Medicine” lays out a plan from Brigham and Women’s Hospital that implements a “reparations framework” for distributing medical resources in order to “comprehensively confront structural racism.”
“Together with a coalition of fellow practitioners and hospital leaders, we have developed what we hope will be a replicable pilot program for direct redress of many racial health care inequities,” Harvard Medical School instructors Bram Wispelwey and Michelle Morse wrote in the article.
Dr. Bram Wispelwey, and Dr. Michelle Morse, both of whom teach at Harvard Medical School, have called for the allocation of medical resources to be done on the basis of race.
“But given the ample current evidence that our health, judicial, and other systems already unfairly preference people who are white, we believe… that our approach is corrective and therefore mandated,” as reported on thepostmillennial.com.
It must be stated from the outset that not only is such a racially-based program medically unethical, it is illegal. According to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity,” including “education, health care, housing, social services.” The bill was passed during an upsurge of the working class in the US in the 1960s, which had as one of its principles the ending of official discrimination along racial lines, including in health care.
Both authors are aware of the illegality of their proposal. “Offering preferential care based on race or ethnicity may elicit legal challenges from our system of colorblind law,” they write. They then attempt to justify their attack on the Civil Rights Act by asserting the existence of “ample current evidence that our health, judicial, and other systems already unfairly preference people who are white,” and that “our approach is corrective and therefore mandated.”
As evidence, Wispelwey and Morse present their observation that “white patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital … were indeed more likely to be admitted to the cardiology service” than black patients. More broadly, they assert that the disparities they observed, so-called “health inequities,” were not “fully accounted for by insurance status, established links to care, other medical conditions, or an index reflecting the socioeconomic status of a patient’s neighborhood.”
In fact, the data linked by the authors to their article does not support their argument. One linked article is misleadingly titled “Heart Failure Admission Service Triage (H-FAST) Study: Racialized Differences in Perceived Patient Self-Advocacy as a Driver of Admission Inequities.” Its concluding section begins by noting: “Theorized drivers of racial inequities in admission service did not reach statistical significance.” In other words, the article linked by the authors does not provide significant statistical evidence of racial differences in treatment.
The underlying ideology behind the attempt to impose race-based health care is known as “critical race theory,” which holds that social inequality is caused by white racism against “people of color.” Critical race theory obscures the basic source of inequality—class society. The so-called “Public Health Critical Race Framework” has emerged in direct opposition to modern medical practice.
From this “framework” flows the claim that the underlying problem in health care is “structural racism,” and the only solution is for Brigham’s and other hospitals to carry out reparations, termed “medical restitution,” to those deemed to have suffered from the hospital’s supposed unjust practices. According to the Boston Review authors, such restitution would involve at the very least “cash transfers and discounted or free care,” and be expanded to the federal level to include “taxes on nonprofit hospitals that exclude patients of color and race-explicit protocol changes.”