Ethical Concerns in Health Care Disparities - Research Paper Example

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Ethical Concerns in Health Care Disparities Racial and ethnic disparities in American healthcare system had long been a national concern with respect to healthcare access, quality of care, insurance coverage, and health outcomes in a diversified population of the country…
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Ethical Concerns in Health Care Disparities
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"Ethical Concerns in Health Care Disparities"

Download file to see previous pages The U.S. policy makers had been vigilant in seeking resolutions to address issues on health care disparities in order to uphold justice and respect to the people. This paper presents the general concepts about health care disparities, focusing on the issues concerning ethics raised commonly raised by the people, as well as on the management of these issues that confronts the health care system of the U.S. First, it is important to convey a unanimous thought of the commonly used terms in this study. According to the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality (2011), “health care seeks to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease and to improve the physical and mental well-being of all Americans.” In the 2003 National Healthcare Disparities Report, “disparity” means “the condition or fact of being unequal, as in age, rank, or degree”, synonymous with the word inequality, unlikeness, disproportion, and difference. It shall be noted that “health disparities” and “health care disparities” are two different terms, though both have close association in concept (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 2004). ...
favorable health conditions that exist among specific population groups, including racial and ethnic minority groups” (American Society of Clinical Oncology 2009). Health care disparities, on the other hand, refers to “different people’s access to insurance, preventive services, and medical care or lack thereof,” while health status disparities refers to “the individual differences in disease prevalence, habits, and risks factors between various races and ethnicities” (National Business Group on Health 2011, p. 5). Differences in race are base on the physical (such as skin color, facial features, etc.) and genetic aspects among subgroups while differences in ethnicity consider the subgroups’ cultural, religious, political, and socioeconomic variables (Tobin 2010). The four major ethnic/racial groups frequently noted in literatures are the African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asian Pacific Islander, and together with the poor, the mentally retarded, and the immigrants, these groups have experienced unequal burdens in health and health care observed from high morbidity and mortality rates (Baldwin 2003). To delimit the broad scope of disparities in health, this study focuses on health care disparities, per se, more specifically on the issues of ethical concerns. Furthermore, the World Health Organization or WHO (2011) presented the determinants of health that affect the individual or the community’s healthy status and these include: (1) the social and economic environment (income, culture, social status); (2) education; (3) physical environment; (4) social support networks; (5) health services; and (6) the person’s individual characteristics (genetic, gender) and behavior (lifestyle, exercise, eating patterns). Evidence showing the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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