Racism And Discrimination

766 Words4 Pages
When a patient goes to the doctor or medical specialist, they expect, and sometimes direly require, the upmost professionalism and quality of treatment. The same could be said of the expectations of the doctor, as to do their jobs require the patient to comply with their treatment or evaluation. Sometimes this is not the case. Often, trivial factors cloud the judgement of patients and medical professional alike, whether that be the one’s ethnicity, religion, or skin color. If such occurs, the risk of improper and ineffective treatment skyrockets. Discrimination, both historically and currently, has had a wide variety of effects on both medical professionals alike. Racism has been a historical problem for America. Resentment among Southerners…show more content…
Less than half a century ago, it was an open secret that blacks, and other minorities, received inferior care compared to their Caucasian counterparts. African Americans were unofficially banned from joining any significant medical society directly because of their race. In fact, the American Medical Association apologized for their discriminatory practices against African Americans, with the term “Medical Apartheid” being used to coin these processes (Sidhu). The case of Henrietta Lacks gives some insight into the discrimination of minorities in the United States. In 1951, when Henrietta was on the verge of death, her caretakers and doctors completely disregarded the privacy of her very own DNA and medical situation. In fact, her doctors rarely, if ever, explained why they were drawing blood, or giving her a certain medication. These very same doctors, even published a textbook with her medical information in it without consent (Skloot). While this did have the effect of spreading the unique case of Henrietta gave medical professionals all around the world a chance to study her cells, this lack of privacy clearly breached…show more content…
Medical professionals and even patients themselves also often judged their patient by their religion. A recent study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found that Muslim patients felt that their religious practices (e.g. privacy, security) were not respected to the extent they felt acceptable. It also found that “… Muslim patients run the risk of being treated negatively by providers when requesting accommodations for their religious and cultural beliefs” (Pedala 1). This sense of tension between doctor and patient ultimately negatively effects the quality of care the medical professional can provide for their patient. Regrettably, religious discrimination is not limited to patients. Indeed, doctors and other healthcare providers experience a wide variety of discrimination solely based upon their religion. One example case found a patient refusing to accept care while in the emergency room because the doctor had a Jewish last name. A CNN survey found that “about 15% of pediatric residents personally experienced prejudice by patients or their families, according to the survey, which involved all Stanford pediatric residents last year” (Howard 1). This discrimination from patient to doctor hinders the rate at which the patient can get better and complicates matters by having to involve multiple doctors for a single
Open Document