Lt. Wade Miller, from Orlando, Florida, treats a patient aboard the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) in Los Angeles on April 4, 2020. (Ryan M. Breeden/US Navy via Getty Images)
Do you want a doctor who is: A. The best in his or her specialty. Or: B. Meets state “implicit bias” awareness standards.
Anyone with any sense, and who wants to live, picks choice A—the best doctor.
That’s at the heart of a federal lawsuit by two doctors who are rejecting the “implicit bias” section of the 50 hours of continuing education needed every two years to keep a physician’s license in California. “The federal lawsuit seeks an injunction to eliminate that requirement,” reported
the San Francisco Chronicle. “The doctors teach continuing education courses and are suing the state licensing agency that oversees the instruction.”
At issue is Assembly Bill 241
, signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in October 2019. In the bill’s words, it would “require all continuing education courses for a physician and surgeon to contain curriculum that includes specified instruction in the understanding of implicit bias in medical treatment.” And, it “would require associations that accredit these continuing education courses to develop standards to comply with these provisions.” It does the same for registered nurses.
And here’s how the bill defines the term: “Implicit bias, meaning the attitudes or internalized stereotypes that affect our perceptions, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner, exists, and often contributes to unequal treatment of people based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, and other characteristics.”
Notice how that’s just a vague jumble of word salad. Is it “implicit bias” to report
, as Statistia does, “The National Basketball Association has one of the highest percentages of African American players from the big four professional sports leagues in North America. In 2022, approximately 71.8 percent of NBA players were African American. Meanwhile, ethnically white players constituted a 17.4 percent share of all NBA players that year.”
I don’t think so. But AB 241 could be interpreted to say it does.
A doctor and nurse observe a patient at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center in Tarzana, Calif., on Jan. 3, 2021. (Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images)
In a more direct issue, the fact is the races and the two sexes (not “genders,” a grammatical term) do have some different medical situations. Only women, despite the current fad of “transgenderism,” can get pregnant.
And there are racial differences in diseases. For example, according
to the American Cancer Society, “Melanoma is more than 20 times more common in White people than in Black people. Overall, the lifetime risk of getting melanoma for White people is about 2.6% (or 1 in 38), 0.1% (1 in 1,000) for Black people, and 0.6% (1 in 167) for Hispanic people.”
The reason is obvious: whites have less melanin. That’s so they can absorb more Vitamin D at the higher latitudes they lived in until recently. By contrast, according
to the Journal of Nutrition, “Vitamin D insufficiency is more prevalent among African Americans (blacks) than other Americans and, in North America, most young, healthy blacks do not achieve optimal 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations at any time of year. This is primarily due to the fact that pigmentation reduces vitamin D production in the skin.”
Now, is it “implicit bias” if a doctor is more concerned about a black patient’s potential vitamin D deficiency, than for a white patient? In a similar fashion, is it “implicit bias” if a doctor is more concerned about a white person’s possible melanoma, than for a black patient?
This only is going to get more complex as genetic science advances. Critical medications and other treatments could be developed to treat the specific ailments that strongly occur in one race more than another. But if studies of such differential incidences of disease are banned to prevent “implicit bias,” then everyone suffers, and dies.
A nurse performs range of motion exercises on a patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, Calif., on May 5, 2020. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
What Is ‘Implicit Bias’?
The great social writer Heather Mac Donald described
what “implicit bias” really is in the Wall Street Journal, “Implicit-bias theory burst onto the academic scene in 1998 with the rollout of an instrument called the implicit association test, the brainchild of social psychologists Anthony Greenwald and Mahzarin Banaji. A press release trumpeted the IAT as a breakthrough in prejudice studies: ‘The pervasiveness of prejudice, affecting 90 to 95 percent of people, was demonstrated today ... by psychologists who developed a new tool that measures the unconscious roots of prejudice.’
“In the race IAT (there also versions for everything from gender to disability to weight), test-takers at a computer are asked to press two keys to sort a series of black and white faces and a set of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ words. For part of the exercise, the test-taker presses one key for white faces and words like ‘happy,’ and the other key for black faces and words like ‘death.’ Then the protocol is reversed, pairing white faces with ‘bad’ words and black faces with ‘good’ words. (The order is randomized, so some test-takers sort black faces with ‘good’ words first.)”
What nonsense. It’s fake science.
was filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation for plaintiffs Azadeh Khatabi, M.D., and Marilyn M. Singleton, M.D., against the Medical Board of California. It contends, “Under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the government cannot compel speakers to engage in discussions on subjects they prefer to remain silent about. Likewise, the government cannot condition a speaker’s ability to offer courses for credit on the requirement that she espouse the government’s favored view on a controversial topic. This case seeks to vindicate those important constitutional rights.”
And, “While there is no consensus definition, the concept of “implicit bias” refers to stereotypical or prejudicial beliefs or attitudes that an individual may unconsciously possess toward others, which can result in discriminatory actions taken by the implicitly biased individual when those beliefs or attitudes are activated.
“In the context of healthcare, some people worry that a physician who holds implicit bias toward a patient under his or her care will render disparately worse care.
“There is inconsistent evidence that implicit bias in healthcare is prevalent and results in disparate treatment outcomes.
“Even assuming sufficient evidence exists that implicit bias in healthcare is prevalent and results in disparate treatment outcomes, there is no evidence-based consensus that trainings intended to reduce implicit bias are effective.
“Moreover, evidence shows that implicit bias trainings can cause counterproductive anger, frustration, and resentment among those taking the trainings.”
That is, the “implicit bias” trainings themselves are biased, and increase bias.
The complaint continues, “By mandating all continuing medical education instructors include training on implicit bias even though evidence-based criteria ensuring the trainings are effective does not exist, [the law] is unlikely to address the problem of implicit bias in healthcare, if any.”
Healthcare workers at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif., on Dec. 16, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Doctor Is a Refugee From Iranian Tyranny
The complaint also contains interesting note on one of the plaintiffs, “Azadeh Khatibi was a child in Tehran during the Iranian Revolution of 1979. As a result of increasingly theocratic changes to Iranian society following the Revolution, her family joined the diaspora and uprooted to the United States, settling in Los Angeles.
“After matriculating at UCLA, Dr. Khatibi went on to earn an M.D. from University of California, San Francisco, and master’s degrees in public health and health and medical sciences from University of California, Berkeley. Now an ophthalmologist, Dr. Khatibi also teaches and organizes continuing medical education courses in California.”
This is an exemplary immigrant success story, of someone seeking freedom from an ideologically repressive regime. But now she’s being persecuted in her adopted country by a new ideology, wokeness!
And this is a great section, “Further, Dr. Khatibi disagrees that implicit bias is the primary factor driving disparities in healthcare. Thus, because Dr. Khatibi’s courses do not generally cover disparities in care, and because there is limited time available for instruction in a given course, [the law]’s mandate to include discussion of implicit bias prevents her from having a more robust and appropriate discussion of the topic. Instead, she is limited to only discussing the government’s preferred topic and viewpoint.”
US Supreme Court Action
This is a case that well could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court. Just this past June the court rejected
racial quota systems—affirmative action—specifically biased against Asian-Americans, at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. The court clearly is working to return America to the “color blind” aspirations of the Civil Rights movement and laws of the 1960s, instead of the more recent, race-obsessed distortions of “implicit bias” and other divisive concepts.
As I keep writing, “equity,” of which “implicit bias” is a part, is socialism, with government dictating outcomes to preferred groups. But “equality” means equality of opportunity, as in Martin Luther King’s call in his “I Have a Dream
” speech in 1963, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”
As America becomes even more diverse, the only way we can survive without strife is through that ideal of equality, of character over quotas, instead of a racial spoils system based on who has the most power to manipulate such fake concepts as “implicit bias.”
Let’s hope the courts uphold MLK’s ideal and hand victory to the good doctors Khatabi and Singleton.