Legacy of racial segregation endures at many U.S. hospitals

Abstract: In the early 1940s, Bernard Lown, MD, was temporarily expelled from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine after it was discovered that, in an act of protest, he had purposely altered blood-bottle labels that indicated the race of the blood donor from whom it was drawn. After a threatened protest, Dr. Lown—the inventor of the defibrillator—was reinstated but removed from his job at the blood bank, which continued to segregate its supply according to the race of the donor. Some 80 years after Dr. Lown’s encounter with that baseless form of medical racism, the organization that bears his name—the Lown Institute—has released data showing that many of the nation’s urban hospital markets are highly segregated.