When patients make demands about who should care for them based on race or ethnicity, the correct response is to refuse those requests, say experts on health law and medical ethics. With such demands rarely voiced, physician practices ought to make sure all members of the team know how to address them properly.
The issue is in the news after a recent case in Flint, Mich. An African-American nurse, Tonya L. Battle, accused her employer, Hurley Medical Center, of acceding to the demand of a white man that no black health professionals attend to the needs of his infant being cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit.
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