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#BlackLivesMatter: Physicians Must Stand for Racial Justice, Oct 15 - AMA Journal of Ethics (formerly Virtual Mentor)

13.10.15

#BlackLivesMatter: Physicians Must Stand for Racial Justice, Oct 15 - AMA Journal of Ethics (formerly Virtual Mentor): Racism is one of the major causes of health problems in the United States. Between 1970 and 2004, the Black-white mortality gap resulted in more than 2.7 million excess Black deaths [1], making racism a more potent killer than prostate, breast, or colon cancer [2]. Physicians are intimately involved with institutions that contribute to the victimization of Black people and other people of color. As is widely documented, Black and Latino patients are less likely to receive the care they need, including adequate analgesia, cancer screening, and organ transplants [3-6]. This is due both to physician bias and to the health care payment structure’s financial disincentives for the care of people of color [7]—clinicians are paid less to care for patients who are uninsured, underinsured, or publicly insured, and these patients are disproportionately people of color. As a consequence, people of color are often denied access to the health care they need [8, 9].


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