Boston Hospital Curtailing Child Endangerment Reporting For ‘DEI’

Mass General Brigham, a Boston-based healthcare system, in a move described by the institution as an effort to combat “structural racism,” has announced it would update its reporting policies concerning child endangerment and neglect, particularly in cases involving substance use disorder (SUD) during pregnancy.

The crux of the policy change lies in addressing the disparity in drug testing and reporting between Black and White pregnant women. The policy relies on some studies conducted within the healthcare system that showed Black mothers were subjected to drug testing more often than other racial groups. The hospital claims that makes them more likely to be reported to child welfare agencies and somehow offends the concept of “equity.”

Under the new guidelines, reports to child welfare agencies will no longer be automatically triggered by positive drug tests in pregnant women undergoing treatment for SUD, unless other indicators of endangerment or neglect are present. This approach aims to mitigate the impact of what the hospital terms as policies that “disproportionately impact patients from historically marginalized populations.”

Dr. Allison Bryant, the associate chief health equity officer at Mass General Brigham, defended the policy shift, stating it was informed by a desire to provide “safe and equitable care for all patients” and to confront internal biases and inequalities. Senior Medical Director for Substance Use Disorder Dr. Sarah Wakeman said the policy is based on “sound science.” She pointed out the system’s commitment to a broad strategy of addressing racial inequities in healthcare, especially when they involve substance use and pregnancy.

Critics, however, remain skeptical. The concern is that by focusing too narrowly on addressing systemic racism, the hospital might overlook the immediate needs and safety of the most vulnerable — children at risk of grave harm.

The only sane path forward requires an approach that protects innocent and defenseless children first and foremost in all cases. If the madness of DEI can find a place inside a framework that actually serves the best interests of children, it can make its best argument for why racial discrimination in 21st-century America is necessary.