Imaging societies weigh in on racial injustice

2019 12 17 23 59 6699 News Ball 400

With the U.S. wracked by protests over racial inequality this week, several major medical imaging societies have weighed in with statements on racial injustice in society.

Protests erupted across the country after the May 25 death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis. The protests have raised the issue of pervasive racism in American society, and activist groups set Tuesday, June 2, as "Blackout Tuesday," a day "to observe, mourn and bring about policy change" in the wake of Floyd's death.

And many imaging groups have complied. The Society for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) on June 2 issued a "statement on racism in healthcare," in which the group said it stood with Council of Medicine Specialty Societies and some 800,000 medical specialists to "deplore the negative impact of racism in our nation and of racial inequities in our healthcare system."

The American College of Radiology (ACR) issued a statement of its own, noting that healthcare and economic disparities contribute to "vastly disproportionate disease and death rates" for African Americans -- a phenomenon that has been particularly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, with black Americans seeing higher death rates than white Americans.

"We support the victims of senseless violence while we work to increase diversity, inclusion and access to care in our field of radiology," the ACR statement noted. "While recent events have been tragic, and even shocking, we still have the opportunity to address inequity in healthcare and social justice disparity in America in ways that preserve the safety and dignity of all involved."

In a May 30 tweet that was widely circulated, the RSNA offered support to people of color.

Also, the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) weighed in with a tweet of its own on June 2.

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