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More Than 14,00 Black Candidates Were Kept From Kidney Transplant Due To Biased Test

In a groundbreaking move to address racial bias in organ testing, more than 14,000 Black kidney transplant candidates, including Jazmin Evans, have had their waiting times adjusted, prioritizing their transplants. A once widely used test, which inaccurately assessed Black patients' kidney function, has been replaced with race-neutral equations. 

This corrective action stems from efforts by the National Kidney Foundation and American Society of Nephrology, urging the adoption of race-free evaluations. The policy shift, initiated by the U.S. organ transplant network, aims to rectify past injustices and mitigate disparities in healthcare. Over 2,800 Black patients have already received transplants as a result. This initiative highlights broader issues of racial bias in medical algorithms and the importance of reforming healthcare practices to promote equity. 

"Health equity scholars have been raising alarm bells about the way race has been misused in clinical algorithms for decades," said Dr. Michelle Morse, New York City's chief medical officer.

Evans, who received a kidney transplant after enduring years of dialysis, emphasizes the significance of rectifying past wrongs and ensuring equitable access to healthcare for all. While progress is evident, challenges persist in dismantling systemic biases and fostering a more inclusive medical system.

"You don't know if people would be alive today" if it had been enacted earlier, Evans said. "Still, that extra step of "making amends to fix the situation for those that we can — I feel like it's very important and it's very necessary if you're truly wanting to bring more equity and equality into the medical field."

Link: AP News 


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