Join our brand new verified AMN Telegram channel and get important news uncensored!

Major city hospital changes child abuse report policy due to ‘racism’

An ambulance. (Monkey Business Images/Dreamstime/TNS)
June 19, 2024

Mass General Brigham announced sweeping policy changes regarding provider-directed drug testing to all pregnant patients earlier this year, citing a belief that women of color were more at risk of doctor-directed drug testing due to racist stereotypes.

In a statement posted to the hospital’s website, Mass General Brigham stated, “As a part of our United Against Racism effort to achieve health equity for patients and communities across our system, we… are addressing policies that may unwittingly perpetuate structural racism.”

“Substance use disorder (SUD) is a condition with significant racial and ethnic inequities, especially in the context of pregnancy, when more punitive approaches to substance use disproportionately affect Black individuals,” the statement read. “Studies — including some within our system — have found that Black pregnant people are more likely to be drug tested and to be reported to child welfare systems than white pregnant people.”

The studies referenced in the policy change were not included in the statement. The newly instated policy directs that reports of maternal drug use to child protective agencies “after delivery should be filed only if there is reasonable cause to believe that the infant is suffering or at imminent risk of suffering physical or emotional injury and that ‘substance exposure’ alone, including treatment with methadone or buprenorphine for opioid use disorder, does not require a report of abuse or neglect in the absence of protective concerns for the infant.”

READ MORE: Video: Fire erupts, gunshot victim hospitalized in major city

The hospital now requires written permission from maternity patients prior to conducting drug screening on mothers or newborns in most cases.

Under the previous policy, a disclosure of treatment for illegal drugs or a positive screen of either the newborn or the mother for the presence of illegal drugs resulted in a mandatory report to child protective agencies.

Allison Bryant, associate chief health equity officer at Mass General Brigham, said, “The updated policy reflects our focus on providing safe and equitable care for all patients. The process allowed us to turn our lens inward to understand our own contributions to stigma and inequity and strive to fix them.”

Despite the changes, a spokesperson for the hospital stated protection to children will remain a priority, according to Fox News.