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N.Y. State Opens Drive Against Racist Bias by Licensed Professions

New York State began efforts this weekend to prevent men and women in 20 licensed professions from practicing discrimination among patients and clients for reasons of race, creed or color.

The first step was approval by the New York State Board of Regents of an amendment to its rules governing the licensing and supervision of those professions. The amendment adds discrimination to categories of activities constituting unprofessional conduct. Proof of such conduct can result in imposition by the Regents Board of a number of penalties against the offender, including loss of license. The amendment must be approved a second time at another Regents Board meeting, before it becomes effective.

Medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy and engineering are among the professions licensed by the board. The only major one not so licensed is the legal profession. Dr. James E. Allen, Jr., State Commissioner of Education, said that State Attorney General Louis Lefkowitz and some of the education department’s professional licensing boards had said they felt there was a need for an anti-bias clause.

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