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Social Justice, Race, Ethnicity - Its Impact in Health

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Ethnicity and Health

Social Justice, Race, Ethnicity:

Its Impact in Health

Samantha Thomas

Biology 104, Section 6

Professor Arrigo

November 29, 2007

Ethnicity and Health 1


Now in the twenty-first century, health has become a serious issue in every aspect from the rich to the poor. It is a growing problem in the Unites States. Many people may overlook this, but most citizens in the United States agree that the issue of healthcare demand more attention. This paper examines ways in how social justice, race, and ethnicity have an impact on health today. It uses statistics to show the many ethnicities with certain diseases and the medication they must take with or without. Its examination of medications, and insurance policies in the United States can give explanations to its effect in society towards the low class and poverty to middle and upper class.

Ethnicity and Health 2

Social Justice, Race, Ethnicity:

Its Impact in Health

In 1929, novelist George Orwell gave attention to an issue that he gave witness to "How the Poor Die" while being admitted in a hospital. Just as in any hospital you enter you must register yourself before admission to see a doctor. Answering questions, filling out and signing forms are some of the few steps for registration. This may be a typical procedure for a hospital but the difference is in mistreatment, harassment, and lack of care which is what Orwell experienced at his stay in the hospital. Treatment and care was very poor from the moment he entered the hospital. Orwell (1956) claimed he was bombarded with all types of questions and it was a hassle for him to enter the hospital ( 368). This paper considers how many races and ethnicities differ from one another due to struggles to receive care and fair treatment because of health insurance and lack of income by responding to the following questions:

1. What are the social policies in health for citizens in the United Sates?

2. What are the class preferences in receiving healthcare-insurance?

3. What ethnicities or races are at more risk for diseases and illnesses?

4. What medications are available for those with these diseases?

5. What is the difference in having insurance and using generic drugs?

Understanding the conditions and mistreatment that people undergo can help and attract more attention to the issue of healthcare

If justice serves as fairness and standing up for your rights then together social

Ethnicity and Health 3

justice is society, a group of individuals working together for equal rights that

pertain to issues of health, crime, violence, and politics. Generally, a hospital is supposed to be a clean place you can visit with comfy, clean rooms that should make your stay comfortable with a feeling of welcome. Orwell claims that people were being used as study experiments when they died and the hospital's atmosphere was filled with dread and stench of sick bodies (373).

What are the social policies in health for citizens in the United Sates?

Money is the main reason why many people young and old have difficulty receiving health benefits for care. Many believe if you have no money no one will take their time out to listen and care for you. There are many health insurance programs that insure children under the age 18. These programs at no cost pay for a child's visit to the doctor, prescriptions, and hospitalizations. The catch is that only families who earn a certain amount of money a year will be eligible for these benefits. People argue that there should be no cost for insurance meaning everyone should have a right for equality in healthcare. Bartlett and Steele (2006) asserted that eliminating all health care agencies into one single system can reduce the amount of money people are paying for to receive medication (p. 1).

What are the class preferences in receiving healthcare-insurance?

People often define and associate themselves with their social class. Society tends to stereotype and place those of a specific race in a particular class. Generally, those of upper class are white Americans. Because of their social class they have the power and wealth, which puts them first in education, jobs, and healthcare. Middle class makes a

Ethnicity and Health 4

decent living with a satisfied income. They may not have all the power and wealth, but they earn what they work for. The poor known as low class struggle everyday to get a job because of little or no education, and with no job there is no income for food and health care. Mullahy and Wolfe (2000) wrote that poverty and lack of healthcare go hand in hand. Being exposed to many germs and diseases are reasons why the poor is unhealthy. A major concern that low or minimum jobs that the poor may receive is not enough to receive benefits in healthcare (p. 32-36). The poor are exposed to many diseases because there are not many shelters that will care for them so their last resort is to sleep on the street. Food is another asset that the poor lack. Availability of food is never reliable, the poor struggle everyday trying to find ways to feed themselves and their family. This results in eating leftover, spoiled food left on the street or in the garbage that may contain germs, parasites, and bacteria that can make you ill. Not treating yourself of any disease in your body can make you sick or even die.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina occurred and no one knew the impact or effect it caused except the people that experienced it. The majority of people affected by this natural disaster were African Americans. Although, white Americans were affected there was a different response to how the government recognized them. White Americans were evacuated faster and cared for with food and shelter. Yes, many African Americans were also evacuated and supplied with food , but there was struggle involved and mistrust. As citizens



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