Medicine’s Changing View Of Racism Towards Healthcare Professionals

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An article in the New England Journal of Medicine, co-authored by Professor Kimani Paul-Emile, was referenced in a Forbes article examining racism from patients towards healthcare professionals.

Being a medical professional means putting yourself aside, sacrificing your own feelings, and “rising above” any abuse that we may encounter.

Most healthcare organizations have a “patients bill of rights,” but few offer similar protections to staff. Historical institutional responses to racist behavior from patients at staff is meek at best, with many operating without any formal policies or institutions.

There is evidence, however, that this is beginning to change.

In 2016, Fordham Law School’s Kimani Paul-Emile and colleagues at University of California San Francisco laid out a framework in the New England Journal of Medicine guiding the reassignment of racist patients acknowledging that “physicians and other health care workers have employment rights that must be balanced with patients’ rights.” The framework also suggests that accommodating racist patients might be a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Read the full article.

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