Parents sometimes request that a doctor of a particular race or ethnic group not care for their child. Such requests sometimes seem legitimate and other times seem offensive. The difference reflects a clash of fundamental values. Generally, we try to respect patient or parental preferences. Requests based on racist attitudes, however, do not seem worthy of respect. But where should we draw the line? In this ethics rounds, we present a situation in which parents requested a white doctor and analyze the ways in which doctors might think about and respond to such a request.

You do not currently have access to this content.