What’s the woke endgame in health care?

The answer is as shocking as it is un-American.

Activists want doctors and nurses to discriminate against patients by race.

To put a finer point on it: They want white and Asian patients to be pushed to the back of the line while giving preferential access to black and Hispanic patients.

This demand is a direct threat to patient health. And it’s closer to happening than you think.

To see what’s coming, look at New Zealand.

It’s an English-speaking country that’s grappling with the same woke activism as the United States.

Since February, surgeons in Auckland — New Zealand’s biggest city — have been forced to consider a patient’s race when deciding who’s eligible for an operation.

If you’re the right color, you get a faster surgery. If you’re the wrong color, you may have to wait.

Naturally, New Zealand surgeons aren’t happy with this injustice.

They know the only criterion for care should be a patient’s medical need.

The justification for this blatant racial discrimination is the same in New Zealand and the United States.

There, woke activists say Maori and Pacific Islanders didn’t receive equitable health-care access in centuries past.

Here, activists say the same thing about black and Hispanic patients.

They’re right that horrible discriminatory policies hurt people in years gone by.

But they’re profoundly wrong to think the cure to historical discrimination is contemporary discrimination.

It’s the definition of two wrongs don’t make a right.

Yet it’s exactly what so-called “anti-racist” experts like Ibram X. Kendi demand.

To use his words, “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”

What’s happening in New Zealand is a warning for America.

In fact, the proverbial camel’s nose is already under the tent.

Brigham and Women’s Hosptial in Massachusetts has already proposed giving preferential treatment to
Brigham and Women’s Hosptial in Massachusetts has already proposed giving preferential treatment to “Black and Latinx heart failure patients.”

Look at Harvard Medical School’s prestigious teaching hospital, Brigham and Women’s.

It has already proposed to provide “a preferential admission option for Black and Latinx heart failure patients.”

Administrators may as well have come out and said: We will prioritize patients based on skin color.

And that already happened during COVID. Multiple states and hospital systems made race a factor in deciding who got access to potentially life-saving treatments.

Tellingly, this obvious racial discrimination was met by a collective yawn from the medical establishment.

The elites who run America’s medical schools, journals and hospitals seem to overwhelmingly support racial discrimination in the provision of medical care.

Even if they don’t, they’re afraid to speak up. Criticizing discrimination would have woke activists calling for their heads.

Someone needs to speak out because what starts at Harvard Medical School’s teaching hospital won’t stop there. Activists envision discriminatory care sweeping all of health care.

It won’t matter if you have kidney failure, heart disease, cancer or any other life-threatening condition. If you’re not the right race, you’ll be at risk of having your care delayed. Delayed care can really be denied care.

What’s more, racial discrimination isn’t the only morally backward policy woke activists want in medicine.

They’re simultaneously pushing for the return of racial segregation, which they call “race concordance.”

That means black patients should see black doctors. If white patients demanded to see white doctors, the woke would lose it. So why are they demanding it for black patients?

The woke demand for segregation is based on the claim that matching patients and providers by race is good for health outcomes.

Yet the biggest study to date shows segregation doesn’t improve patient health.

Surgeons in Auckland, New Zealand have to consider race when deciding who is eligible for an operation.
Surgeons in Auckland, New Zealand have to consider race when deciding who is eligible for an operation.

This fact notwithstanding, woke activists are lowering standards at medical schools to recruit more minority students.

They want the medical profession to match America’s racial makeup, at which point segregation will be easier to achieve.

You can bet they’re preparing government mandates next.

New Zealand forewarns what’s coming our way. It starts with racial discrimination, and it will surely end up in racial segregation.

The health of every American, of every race, hangs in the balance.

But the woke don’t care. They are systematically moving medicine, like the rest of society, backward to much darker times.

Color-blind medicine is the only form of ethical health care.

We need to make sure the woke endgame never sees the light of day.

Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a former associate dean of curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, is chairman of Do No Harm.