While it's extremely difficult to tell in any given situation how much race -- consciously or subconsciously -- plays a role in a doctor's decision making, multiple studies over several decades have found doctors make different decisions for black patients and white patients even when they have the same medical problems and the same insurance. ~ CNN.com
The dialogue that was begun with the case of Professor Gates is spreading to other area of racial profiling and prejudice in the United States. The article, Does your doctor judge you based on your color?, by CNN Senior Medical Correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, documenting differing degrees of medical treatment (and respect) afforded patients based upon their race should shock me. Unfortunately it doesn't.
Through my years of visiting medical and nursing home facilities in Indiana, Kentucky, and Missouri both as a clergyperson and as a social worker, I have noted more than one that the color of one's skin can be a determining factor in the quality of medical care one receives. I believe that this is true especially in hospital emergency rooms.
As with Mr. Reid in the example given in the above referenced CNN story, Mr. Reid observed, the doctor he saw at the emergency room evidently assumed he wasn't intelligent or educated well enough to understand his medical condition and also, because he was African-American, he probably couldn't afford the more expensive but less invasive procedure.
I wish I knew what it will take to enable Americans to look at other people and not judge them by superficialities such as their color or their skin. Moreover, I wonder how long it will be before humans the world over can recognize simply the humanity of other people.