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"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers," Blanch DeBois says in A Streetcar Named Desire—which isn't too surprising, given that she's white.
According to a new study in the American Journal of Public Health, black people can't expect the same generosity, at least not when they're in a medical emergency.
For the study, Cornell researchers analyzed data from emergency medical service providers regarding 22,500 patients.
The results weren't encouraging for humanity in general, with only one in 39 people getting any help from strangers in medical emergencies before professional assistance arrived. But for black patients, it was even worse.
Fewer than one in 55 black people got help from a stranger, while one in 24 white people had.
In addition, those in lower-income and less populated areas were more often left high and dry, which could in part explain racial disparities, lead author and Cornell professor Erin York Cornwell said in a press release.
"We find evidence that bystanders can provide help in a huge range of scenarios, but the rates of assistance are so incredibly low," York Cornwell added, stating that this adds to a large body of research demonstrating health disparities based on race and income.
York Cornwell did not immediately return NTRSCTN's request for comment.