A nonprofit and two individuals filed a lawsuit Tuesday against California for its diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives required for prospective medical doctors.
Do No Harm, a group formed last year to oppose DEI in medicine, joined Los Angeles-based anesthesiologist Dr. Marilyn Singleton and ophthalmologist Dr. Azadeh Khatibi in suing the Medical Board of California.
The group specifically argues the state's mandate that doctors complete "implicit bias" training as part of their medical education "promotes the inaccurate belief that white individuals are naturally racist."
"This message can be detrimental to medical professionals and their patients as it creates an atmosphere of suspicion and animosity, which goes against the fundamental principle of doing no harm," said Singleton, herself a visiting fellow at DNH.
In their lawsuit, the group further contends that there exists "no evidence-based consensus that trainings intended to reduce implicit bias are effective." Instead, they cited evidence pointing to the contrary.
"Under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the government cannot compel speakers to engage in discussions on subjects they prefer to remain silent about," the court document read.
"Likewise, the government cannot condition a speaker's ability to offer courses for credit on the requirement that she espouse the government's favored view on a controversial topic," it added.
The Pacific Legal Foundation is representing DNH and the two doctors.
"Physicians should base medical care on each patient's individual situation and condition," PLF attorney Caleb Trotter explained. "Implicit bias training does the opposite, telling doctors they should be concerned about a patient's immutable characteristics ... regardless of the characteristics' relevance to the patient's treatment."
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