Prof. Dayna Matthew on Implicit Bias

Dayne MatthewIn the second installment of the Fall 2011 Faculty Workshop Series, sponsored by the Frances Lewis Law Center, Professor Dayna Matthew, Professor of Law at the University of Colorado Law School, came to speak today about her book proposal, entitled Heal Our Land: A Behavioral Realist’s Proposal to Reverse Health Disparities in America.

Social science has demonstrated that African-Americans are more likely to receive different and inferior medical treatment from physicians. In the case of a patient presenting chest pains, Prof. Matthew points to studies that indicate they are less likely to receive thrombolysis, adequate pain medication, and a heart transplant. African-Americans are also more likely to be denied insurance coverage for the treatment. She hopes to offer a body of social science evidence in order to understand how the law can better address the injustice of racial and ethnic health disparities. Ultimately, she wants to open the discussion and shape the law to employ regulatory, judicial, and statutory measures that can better respond to the implicit biases.

Many thanks to Professor Matthew for visiting W&L and sharing her ideas with the faculty.

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