90 Miles From Tyranny : Hospital System Backs Off Race-Based Treatment Policy After Legal Threat

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Saturday, January 15, 2022

Hospital System Backs Off Race-Based Treatment Policy After Legal Threat

Scoring rubric gave race more weight than diabetes, obesity, asthma, and hypertension combined

One of the largest hospital systems in the United States gave race more weight than diabetes, obesity, asthma, and hypertension combined in its allocation scheme for COVID treatments, only to reverse the policy after threats of legal action.

SSM Health, a Catholic health system that operates 23 hospitals across Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, began using the scoring system last year to allocate scarce doses of Regeneron, the antibody cocktail that President Donald Trump credited for his recovery from COVID-19. A patient must score at least 20 points to qualify for the drug. The rubric gives three points to patients with diabetes, one for obesity, one for asthma, and one for hypertension, for a total of six points. Identifying as "Non-White or Hispanic" race, on the other hand, nets a patient seven points, regardless of age or underlying conditions.

In a Dec. 30 email to physicians, the health system said it would use the same rubric for Sotrovimab, a monoclonal antibody treatment that has proven effective against the now-dominant Omicron variant.

Those plans appear to have changed, however, after pressure from the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, a conservative legal nonprofit that on Jan. 14 threatened SSM Health with a lawsuit. Hours after the group demanded SSM "immediately suspend the use of" its "immoral" and "illegal" risk calculator, the health system told the Wisconsin State Journal that the "race and gender criteria are no longer utilized."

In a statement to the Washington Free Beacon, SSM claimed that the scoring system "was changed last year," and that its Dec. 30 email had "inadvertently referenced an expired calculator." At the same time, it defended its use of that calculator, saying that "early versions of risk calculators across the nation appropriately included race and gender criteria based on initial outcomes."

The health system's announcement comes as conservative legal groups are gearing up to fight race-based triage schemes in court. America First Legal, founded by former Trump administration adviser Stephen Miller, said Wednesday that it was threatening legal action against the Minnesota and Utah state health departments, both of which were using race to determine eligibility for monoclonal antibodies. Such schemes constitute illegal race discrimination, several legal scholars told the Free Beacon, and lawsuits against the states implementing them would almost certainly be...

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Mind your own business said...

And anyone thinks they can be trusted at their word? If they were willing to do something so overtly racist to begin with, I don[t think they can be believed. Their system needs to be audited and observed indefinitely.

GUS said...

Care plans of all COVID patients treated under this racist scoring system must be reviewed to determine if it resulted in harm or death. All administrators who signed off on its use must be named and terminated. All doctors who followed it must be named and lose their license.

Anonymous said...

Now show the race of those who forced through this 'calculator'.

What's the betting that they'll be 'tribalists' acting like tribalists do.

When you mandate (force) preferential recruitment, hiring and promotions for a 'favoured minority' within an organisation, then demand special treatment and rights for them, eventually they are no longer the minority within the organisation and ... they start to operate it in favour of their fellow 'minority members'. Recent history is replete with this occurring (with interchangeable women, black and gay 'minorities) in multiple companies, departments, organisations and professions in multiple countries (look at how the British immigration service and foreign office is now almost exclusively staffed by foreign born minorities and operates in favour of only their fellow 'former' countrymen. How most medical schools are majority women, etc.).

The only group who ever act in a colour/race/religion/sex blind manner (to their own detriment) is white Christian males. Every other group gives preference to 'people like us'. Always.

So why act surprised when it (not just predictably but is guaranteed to) happen(s) again.