Maxwell: Medical racism exacts a terrible cost

By | December 10, 2012

In his new book, “Black & Blue: The Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism,” John Hoberman shows how racial bias among doctors negatively affects diagnosis and treatment for black patients. — The book comes at a perfect time, during the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s biggest domestic accomplishment.

In an email message, Hoberman, professor of Germanic studies at the University of Texas at Austin, wrote that the legislation “serves the medical needs of countless African-Americans by making medical care available to millions of people who have not been able to afford it. It is well known that poverty and lack of access to care do more to cause illness and premature death than any other factors.”

While access to care for African-Americans is important, quality of care is crucial. But all too often and in too many medical offices and facilities, the quality of care patients receive depends on their skin color.

This moral shortcoming should be discussed at the highest levels of medicine, but rarely is, Hoberman writes. It definitely is not part of medical schools’ curricula. (The Republic)

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