Narrator: This is Science Today.
Social welfare professor Steven Segal of the University
of California, Berkeley did a study of how mentally
ill patients were treated in city hospital emergency
wards. He found that African-Americans were likely
to be given about the same amount of anti-psychotic
medications as other patients -- if a doctor took
the time to evaluate them first.
Segal: Whereas for the 30 percent of the patients who were African-American where the level of communication was not up to par, in fact not good at all, in those circumstances they might receive almost twice the amount of medication as other patients...
Narrator: ...for no apparent reason. Segal blames the cutbacks going on in hospitals everywhere. He believes ER personnel are coping pretty well in general...
Segal: However, they are cutting back more in their service of African-American patients than they are in serving other patients.
Narrator: Segal recommends training emergency room personnel not to pre-judge mentally ill patients by race. For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.