African Americans have long been subjected to racism within the health care sector of the United States. During earlier eras of American history, including the pre-Civil War, Reconstruction and Jim Crow time periods, blatant racism in the health care sector was prevalent. Following the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, more overt forms of racism dissipated. Now, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, racism within the health care industry manifests itself in more subtle forms. A modern day example of the abominable and often governmentally sanctioned health care that African Americans receive is racial discrimination in the allocation of transplantable kidneys. Despite having a greater incidence of kidney failure than European Americans, African Americans are less likely to be the recipients of transplantable kidneys and spend considerably longer periods of time on kidney allocation waiting lists than European Americans. This Note proposes and analyzes various responses to disparities in kidney allocation on the basis of race including public education, organ donation publicity campaigns, presumed consent to donation laws, the creation of criteria for placement on an United Network for Organ Sharing kidney allocation waiting list, alteration of kidney allocation guidelines, and litigation under both the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution and Title VI of the Civil Rights of 1964.
Cara A. Fauci,
Racism and Health Care in America: Legal Responses to Racial Disparities in the Allocation of Kidneys,
B.C. Third World L.J.