Dr. Nelson compared “it to Brigham Young University’s decisions to ban Coca-Cola from campus and to suspend four athletes accused of raping a 17-year-old girl.”
This makes me angry down to my core, for so many reasons. Dr. Nelson’s words are ignorant at best, bigoted and homophobic more likely. He’s a hypocrite, and he should apologize or give up his position.
Y’know, I thought when I chose medicine, I’d be among educated, informed people, working with the brightest minds. Nelson is clearly here to remind me that there are idiots everywhere. I find it a little confusing that just 2 weeks ago, Nelson spoke about racial disparities in health care, and said that there was ” “a generalized distrust” of doctors by many minority patients.” Does Dr. Nelson not see any connection?
Let’s have it your way, Dr. Nelson. Would it be okay for any private institution to choose not to allow blacks? Or females? Or people with color-blindness? What side of the line would you stand on in that case-the private institution’s rights, or equality’s?
The AMA’s official position is that “the physician’s nonjudgmental recognition of sexual orientation and behavior enhances the ability to render optimal patient care in health as well as in illness.” Now, is Dr. Nelson really speaking for the AMA, or is he speaking as a Mormon?
If you believe that Dr. Nelson’s comments are as offensive as I do, please contact the AMA and voice your opinion-as a medical professional, AMA member, or just as a human being. Or even a patient. The number’s 800-621-8335 (hit 2 then 6), or email email@example.com. People used to defend racism and segregation on similar grounds, if you don’t recall.
Dear Dr. Nelson,
I’m a medical student and son of a physician, and I was stupefied by your comments supporting The New York Medical College’s decision to ban a gay student group.
You spoke on February 1st on racial inequalities and distrust some minorities have with the health care system, and I can’t possibly understand how you fail to see the similarities between these two issues. If on one hand, you’re speaking out against racial inequalities, but on the other, you’re defending an institution’s right to deny equality to a minority group, it’s hard to really see where you stand. 50 years ago, the same “private institution” arguments were made to justify banning blacks from schools and lunch counters; if The New York Medical College wanted to ban an African-American group, or a Jewish group, or a Mormon one, would that be okay? Or what about one only for short people? Or the color-blind?
Your own AMA policy statements say that “the physician’s nonjudgmental recognition of sexual orientation and behavior enhances the ability to render optimal patient care in health as well as in illness,” but I can’t help but describe the NYMC’s decision as judgmental. And by banning the group, the NYMC is implicitly telling its students that it’s okay to judge, it’s okay to discriminate, as long as you have a justification for it. And by supporting the ban, you’re telling doctors that it’s okay, too.
Discrimination by any other name is still discrimination, Dr. Nelson, and it still smells just as rotten. You have a responsibility to uphold the values of your organization, and to encourage progress in medicine, as well as promote cultural sensitivity as you spoke about two weeks ago. I hope that you will see the inconsistencies in your positions and realize that the NYMC’s decision is not in the best interest of its students, its physicians, or its patients, and it is certainly against the ethical values of the AMA.
MII, Stanford University