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After Facebook Flap, Delta Air Lines Changes Policy for Dealing with Medical Emergencies

Responding to public pressure, Delta Air Lines has announced a policy change in how flight crews deal with medical emergencies.

As of this month, flight attendants are no longer required to verify the credentials of physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals who volunteer to help passengers having sudden health problems in the cabin.

The move comes two months after a Delta-related Facebook post by Dr. Tamika Cross went viral. In the posting, Cross, who is black, alleges that when she raised her hand to assist an ill passenger on a Delta flight from Detroit to Houston, she was rebuffed by a flight attendant who doubted that she was a doctor. But according to Cross, when a white male came forward and presented his credentials, he was allowed to help.

Wrote Cross: "Whether this was race, age, gender discrimination, it's not right."

The post has gotten more than 20,000 comments and 150,000 likes—and has now resulted in a significant change at the airline. 

"Delta found that there is no legal or regulatory requirement to view medical professional credentials," the company said in its statement. "And, as it becomes more and more common for medical licenses to be verified online, physicians and nurses often do not carry a license with them and some states no longer issue wallet versions."