Equality, Rights, and Education

September 15, 2018

Equality, Rights, and Education

Problem of Interest

Is Race Based Medicine Constitutional?

What issue am I going to write about?

Is Race Based medicine constitutional? Many doctors and medical school teach race-based diagnostic tools to determine how certain races take diseases and how to treat specific races. This becomes a problem because it leads to a medicine race gap, where certain minorities are more likely to suffer than whites who have the same health issues. The issue I am writing about concerns the lack of health urgency for certain ethnic groups and the results of this racial prejudice and stereotyping.

Why is it an issue?

Race runs deeply throughout all medical practices. It shapes physician’s diagnosis, treatments, prescriptions, and treatment of diseases. This is an issue because race-based medicine leaves patients of color vulnerable to harmful biases and stereotypes. Doctors are supposed to practice evidence-based medicine, but that’s not the case their habits of treating patients by race is a dated and prejudice bias. A wide spread belief that many doctors and medical students are being taught is that ‘black/brown people feel less pain/exaggerate and that they are prone to drug addiction’ (……..) based on that stereotype many of those patients are denied pain medications. This happens because of deeply rooted beliefs in medicine that date back to the slavery era, where many physicians like that of Samuel Cartwright whose research, that was conducted on slaves, was tightly linked to justification of slavery. That diagnostic tool is problematic because doctors in the U.S are still using an updated version of Cartwright’s to diagnose patients. Race is a socially constructed concept not biological nor is it genetic as the Human Genome Project proved that. With that said it brings up the question why is that medical care physicians are still using race to treat patients when there is no scientific evidence that race is biological.

To understand this issue better and where these ideas came from we need to look at the history of medicine for minorities. To address health disparities, we need understand why they exist that they’re not due to one single factor. They’re the result of policy decisions we make as a society, they’re due to the environment, health education, insurance and access to care, access to healthy food, and stress.

Why is it important to me?

Race-based medicine is an issue that I care about because it’s an issue that not only is unjust, but it affects the majority of America. It is important to me because it directly impacts my family and I, due to these common prejudices in medicine many minorities are losing their lives. Statistics show that minorities are more likely to die because of certain health issues than whites, and that alone is the results of the bias.

Primary and Secondary Sources:

Constitutional Protection Against Racial Discrimination, the fourteenth amendment is supposed to protect its citizens from racial discrimination. Which means doctors practicing race-based medicine are violating the fourteenth amendment.

Who are my two potential addressees?

I would write to the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, but I’d also like to write to health care law makers on a national level.

Why do I think writing to them is important?

This is an important issue and I think lawmakers need to understand that