Claims of B.C. hospital racism where staff guessed alcohol level of Indigenous patients spark investigation


British Columbia’s premier says there’s no excuse for “dehumanizing behaviour” as part of alleged racism by some emergency room staff accused of playing a game to guess the blood-alcohol levels of Indigenous patients. […] “The game involved guessing the blood-alcohol level of patients, essentially in advance or during their treatment. Obviously, playing a game of that sort is beyond unacceptable,” he told reporters on a conference call.

Two things stand out here:

  1. There’s no way this was limited to indigenous people. Broke-ass caucasians — the kind of people I grew up around — would also be prime targets for this kind of game
  2. People will guess probable outcomes based more on lived experience than anything else. This isn’t limited to blood-alcohol levels in the ER, either. Patterns are seen everywhere in life and people make a game out of them because they enjoy being correct.

If the hospital staff were betting money, keeping tallies, and compiling rankings, that would be unprofessional. If they’re examining a patient exhibiting all the symptoms of alcohol poisoning and one says “0.09” while the other says “0.11” before the result is in, then it’s not systemic racism.

But this probably makes me racist 🙄