American Experience
Early Years: Pivotal Decisions
Pivotal Decisions: Should Thomas Attend the Blue Baby Operation?

You chose Choice Two. Blalock should go to the president of Johns Hopkins University and request special permission to allow Thomas to participate in the surgery.


Thomas has a great deal of knowledge and practice with the procedure, but obtaining approval from the administration would be a prudent move.
Blalock has repeatedly witnessed Thomas' flawless surgical technique in the lab, so he can make a convincing argument for his presence.
The administration will be convinced of the strength of Blalock's team if the surgery is successful.


Thomas has not had the formal training to perform surgery on humans, so Blalock may appear cavalier in his decisions.
Thomas is a black man in an all-white medical institution, which will cause discomfort in the administration.
The administration may question Blalock's own qualifications to perform the surgery if Thomas' presence is requested officially.

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