With 3 Bills Head to Gov. Newsom, California May Soon Push Doctors and Lawyers to Confront Their Biases

Dennis Bleakley examines Edward Sankey, 55, at the JWCH Medical Clinic in Los Angeles in this undated photo. (Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Dennis Bleakley examines Edward Sankey, 55, at the JWCH Medical Clinic in Los Angeles in this undated photo. (Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Doctors, nurses, lawyers and court workers in California may soon be asked to confront their prejudices under a trio of legislative proposals that are headed to the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The Legislature passed the final bill on Thursday, one of two approved this week that would mandate implicit bias training as a continuing education requirement for many medical professionals and court workers. A third measure that passed this week is aimed at ensuring pregnant black women receive equal treatment with similar training for those involved in perinatal care.

“The assumption is, if you put on a [judge’s] robe, if you put on a [doctor’s] coat, you are impartial,” said Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Los Angeles), author of two of the bills. “That is not so because the people in those robes and in those coats are humans, and we all have prejudices, and we all have biases.”

The bills are meant to help address documented disparities in medical and criminal justice outcomes based on race or other factors including gender, sexual orientation, age and disabilities.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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