Mary Kilpatrick, The Plain Dealer, November 13, 2019
Researchers in Arizona asked 422 doctors, nurses and other hospital decision-makers to look at a pool of hypothetical patients, both black and white, and decide which should be referred for a heart transplant. The hypothetical patients had the same medical and social histories; the only difference was race.
When the survey participants evaluated the cases individually, researchers found few differences in recommendations for transplants due to race.
When a group of 44 participants gathered to discuss the patients, in a setting similar to actual advanced therapy selection meetings, researchers discovered racial bias.
”African-American race negatively influenced the decision- making process for heart transplants, especially during discussions among health care providers,” said lead author Khadijah Breathett.
The health professionals participating in the survey ”perceived black patients as less healthy than whites, less likely to comply with follow-up care recommendations and less trustworthy,” according to the news release.