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Prior to the Civil War, many hospitals in the southern United States treated both free and slave patients. In this article we develop a model for the selective medical treatment of slaves. We argue that the pecuniary benefits of hospital care increased with the price of the slave if healthy. Using a rich sample of admission records from New Orleans Touro Hospital, we find a positive correlation between the predicted price of the slave and the probability of hospital admission. We test the robustness of the model by controlling for the length of residence in the city, ownership by traders and doctors, and the type of illness.