The American Society of Hematology (ASH) is committed to a lofty goal that has nothing to do with the delivery of sound medical care – what it calls a “moral imperative to confront and dismantle racism.”
The organization has joined many other medical societies on the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) train, even offering an ”Anti-Racism Toolkit” on its website with resources to counter so-called “systemic racism.”
The organization says it finds itself “called upon to discuss and address health disparities while teaching, conducting research and delivering care.”
“Racism affects one’s life experience in ways that have tangible consequences on our patients, our practice, and the field of medicine,” ASH continues, further stating:
Stereotyping, bias, lack of representation, and racism perpetuate false beliefs, lead to misdiagnosis, dangerously narrow clinical decision making, and perpetuate implicit bias, all of which lead to real health disparities. These forces also affect the integrity and safety of the learning climate and impact the success of future hematologists. Therefore, we at ASH have a moral imperative to confront and dismantle racism.
The “toolkit” is just one of many DEI initiatives at ASH.
In October, Do No Harm (DNH) reported ASH was offering a medical student “award” – for minority applicants only. “How does the Society justify this racial discrimination?” DNH observed, adding, “The award is supposed to help people who are ‘under-represented in health-related sciences.’ Activists say that recruiting such individuals is essential to eliminating health disparities.”
The narrative of health equity and health disparities claims “systemic racism” and “oppression” prevent minority individuals from obtaining access to adequate health care. According to the radical dogma, more healthcare providers from “marginalized” identity groups would allow the healthcare system to achieve “racial concordance,” and supposedly enable more patients from these same minority groups to obtain higher quality health care. However, a recent report by Do No Harm’s Director of Research Ian Kingsbury and senior fellow Jay Greene shows that racial concordance does not ensure better care or better outcomes.
The ASH website also contains a “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Health Care” page that boasts the organization “continues its long-standing commitment to combating inequities in hematology, supporting scientists and clinicians from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine, and embracing diverse voices across the patient and health care communities.”
The organization’s statement that “ASH stands in solidarity with our members and patients in communities that are targets of discrimination, harassment, and violence, and remains committed to combatting all forms of bigotry” sounds more like a political and ideological statement reflecting the tenets of CRT than one concerning its field of medicine. ASH continues about its DEI “four-pronged approach to fulfilling the Society’s commitment to diversity and inclusion”:
- Inspiring, recruiting, and supporting researchers and clinicians from diverse backgrounds to pursue and succeed in careers in hematology and related fields.
- Involving people with diverse perspectives, talents, and experiences in leadership, volunteer, and staff positions.
- Providing resources and education to help build awareness of and seek to dismantle systemic racism and other forms of discrimination affecting our members and patients.
- Advocating for policies and supporting programs that aim to eliminate health disparities in the care of hematology patients.
Like many organizations demanding compliance with DEI ideology, ASH has reportedly insisted attendees at its annual meetings commit to the practice of its radical doctrine.
A current Hematology representative for his state to the Carrier Advisory Committee to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) told DNH he was instructed to sign ASH’s “code of conduct” in order to attend its annual meeting. The opening statement in the Volunteer Code of Conduct notes that the mission of ASH is to foster “equitable” – not individualized – care to patients.
“Often, ASH will see me as a ‘volunteer’ and invite me to ASH headquarters for the annual meeting,” the source said. “I received the provided document from ASH demanding that I sign their ‘code of conduct.’ Due to previous political actions that ASH has endorsed,” the source continued, “I am not a member, nor do I consider myself a volunteer of the organization. However, if I do not sign the document, I suspect that ASH will no longer allow my participation at the annual CAC Hematology-Oncology meetings.”
DNH also obtained screenshots from a source familiar with ASH procedures regarding the November issue of the organization’s flagship journal Blood – for which the 2023 subscription rate is a pricey $2,050. The journal contained an ad for a DEI program that promises to teach hematologists “how to address implicit bias” in their field.
“Deepen your knowledge about systemic racism and health inequities in the field of hematology,” the ad in the screenshot promises to instruct, describing the program’s topics as:
- Hematological malignancies inequities in acute myeloid leukemia
- Disparities in access to cell therapies and transplants
- Gender disparities in bleeding disorders, and more
Though the ad sends hematologists to the website hematology.org/health-equity, that site now delivers an error message with no archived versions available.
Politicized medicine in the form of “health equity” and radical concepts like anti-racism and racial concordance cultivate an activist mindset intended to create division according to immutable characteristics and group identities. As a scientific organization, the American Society of Hematology must abandon ideologies that have no evidence to support them, and return to its scientifically-based mission from early 2020 – a time when DEI and anti-racism did not dominate every corner of its operations.
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