CLINICIANS’ PREJUDICE WHEN IT COMES TO REPORTING PREGNANT DRUG USERS:
An old but still powerful reminder that clinicians, no less than society in general, have strong bias with regard to ethnicity and economic status. A study by Chasnoff and colleagues in 1989 in Florida screened 715 pregnant women for drugs. Whites and Blacks had approximately same frequency of positive toxicology: 15.4% and 14.1%, respectively, but “…black women were reported [to health authorities] at approximately 10 times the rate for white women, and poor women were more likely than others to be reported.” Yes, the study is 20 years old. Anyone have a basis for believing clinicians’ attitudes have changed? Article in NEJM 322(17):1202-1206.