This article was originally published here
Semin Perinatol. 2021 Nov 9:151524. doi: 10.1016/j.semperi.2021.151524. Online ahead of print.
Addressing bias and disparities in counseling and care requires that we contend with dehumanizing attitudes, stereotypes, and beliefs that our society and profession holds towards people of color, broadly, and Black birthing people in particular. It also necessitates an accounting of the historically informed, racist ideologies that shape present-day implicit biases. These biases operate in a distinctly complex and damaging manner in the context of end-of-life care, which centers around questions related to human pain, suffering, and value. Therefore, this paper aims to trace biases and disparities that operate in periviable care, where end-of-life decisions are made at the very beginning of life. We start from a historical context to situate racist ideologies into present day stereotypes and tropes that dehumanize and disadvantage Black birthing people and Black neonates in perinatal care. Here, we review the literature, address historical incidents and consider their impact on our ability to deliver patient-centered periviable care.