Midwest hospital chain stops using race-based COVID-19 treatment plan amid backlash
Added 01-17-22 01:29:01pm EST - “SSM Health, a Catholic hospital chain that operates 23 hospitals in Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, has stopped using race as a determining factor for prioritizing COVID-19 treatment.” - Foxnews.com
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SSM Health, a Catholic hospital chain that operates 23 hospitals across the Midwest, has stopped using race as a determining factor for prioritizing COVID-19 treatment, the chain announced Friday after receiving a legal threat from a nonprofit conservative law firm.
Attorneys at the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) issued a letter Friday to SSM Health warning that it is illegal to distribute monoclonal antibody products (mAbs) based on race. The letter cited a Dec. 31 email to physicians by SSM Health that referenced a risk scoring calculator, in which non-White patients received a 7-point head start out of 20 total and were therefore more likely to receive life-saving medical treatment over White patients with medically recognized co-morbidities or symptoms, the attorneys argued.
Nurse Salina Padilla, left, prepares Dr. Prabakar Tummala for Bamlanivimab, monoclonal antibody infusion at Desert Valley Hospital on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 in Victorville, California. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
"For example, a 50-year-old white female (15 points) suffering from obesity (1 point), asthma (1 point), and hypertension (1 point) would not be eligible for mAbs because she does not receive the 20-point minimum score under the calculator," the letter stated. "On the other hand, an otherwise healthy 50-year-old African-American female (22 points), without any of these health risks, would be eligible."
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