Historically, racial discrimination in society has had an adverse effect on the health of African Americans. This type of inequality has also affected other persons of color, and it has been reported that racism has insidious effects on many White individuals, especially on their health as well. Four critical issues will be addressed in this paper: First, the impact of discrimination on the health care of African Americans and others. From slavery to lynching to incarceration, generations of African American families have endured trauma. Psychologist and other social scientists have said that these continuing experiences with racism may lie at the root of many well-documented race-based physical health disparities that affect this population. The second issue is the impact of police misconduct on the health of African Americans. Historically, numerous African Americans have lived in fear of law enforcement officials armed with weapons who have monitored their behavior, attacked them on the streets and in their homes, and killed them for the slightest alleged provocation. A third issue is racial disparities in the provision of health care of which there have been numerous accounts. It has been noted that African Americans, other minorities, and the poor have historically been subjected to health care neglect and abuse, and have had their preferences for certain medical benefits ignored. In fact, people of color in the United States have faced disparities in the access to health care, in the quality of the care they receive, as well as health outcomes. The fourth issue involves systemic racism and its effect on the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. Initial CDC data showed obvious disparities among those receiving the vaccine while highlighting severe gaps across communities. Evidence has indicated that Black and Hispanic people have been vaccinated against Coronavirus at much lower rates than White persons despite being disproportionately hit by the pandemic according to CDC data. In short, access to the vaccine has not been fair to minorities and the poor in various locations throughout the United States, which could be shown to be a violation of Equal Protection under the Constitution. This paper will also include a small sampling of case studies and court opinions that illustrate alleged discrimination by physicians and hospitals involving health care matters.
"Systemic Racism and Minority Disparities in Health Care,"
The Bridge: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Legal & Social Policy: Vol. 6:
3, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.tsu.edu/thebridge/vol6/iss3/1