Journal of the AMA: You aren't white and in the ER? You must be a drug addict so forget about treatment

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

This is something I've actually ranted about previously for quite some time because of a few experiences I've had in comparison to my white counterparts in ER/Outpatient clinics - and now the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is backing me up.

According to a recent study of between 150,000 and 375,000 emergency room visits over a 13 year period, they found that white people are more likely to be given pain treating prescription drugs than people of color for the same exact diagnosis, revealing the possible suspicions of doctors who think a person of color is more likely to be lying so they can get free narcotics.

You can read more about the study in the Associated Press and Reuters as well as the abstract down at the JAMA site, but let's just say what the AMA Journal isn't quite saying but eluding too in many ways - doctors are biased and let their own racism affect how they treat patients and I didn't need a medical study to tell me that some doctors still automatically think if you aren't white you're a drug abuser and that in the end, if you're white, you get better care in this society than if you're not.