This statement can pose a great risk factor to an individual’s public health. This is because certain diseases or conditions are more prevalent and affects individuals differently based on their race, such as African Americans and Hispanics are more prone to diabetes. Additionally, sickle-cell anemia is more prevalent among African Americans than Caucasian people. Therefore, when public health officials are collecting data for surveillance and implementation of health interventions, they have to incorporate race. For example, when an individual enters the hospital because they are sick, their demographics are asked for including race. This data will be used to compare multiple diseases especially those that are more prevalent among that individual race (Solovieff et al., 2011; Marshal, 2005).
The ethical implication this poses is that it prevents the reduction of health racial disparities. Collecting data on race helps to eliminate racial health disparities because the data helps to identify the extent of the disparities within the population and helps to improve the healthcare quality for the population. For example, two groups of races from the same community are going to a healthcare facility to seek help. Based on the collected data, it showed that race A have a higher and morbidity rate within this community compare to race B. This data allowed researcher and healthcare officials to investigate the community and evaluate why there is a gap in the healthcare provided to both racial groups different. This investigation leads to the implementation of intervention methods that reduced the health care disparity gaps (Fremont and Lurie, 2004).
An example of this situation is the data collected on coronavirus. Due to its point of origin being China, people such as the president of the U.S referred to it as the chinses virus. This caused increased racial discrimination for the Asian Americans and Asians across the world. The notion was that if you came in contact with a Chinese or Asian, you would get the coronavirus. Additionally, when an Asian American caught the corona, they were not shown empathy, instead, they were treated like it is understandable that they got the coronavirus, because they were of Asian descent. This led to increased health disparities, because some Asians that were sick did not want to go in public to get tested because they were afraid, they would get discriminated against. Additionally, some healthcare providers, once they had an Asian patient, became prejudice towards them in fear of contracting the coronavirus. It is necessary to improve this situation when it is evident that a racial health disparity is forming and the way to improve these public health issues, is to stop calling it the Chinese virus, this will remove the stigma of the virus (Aratani, 2020).
An ethical issue with respect for a person is that a person is supposed to be able to make their own decision, but an institution will try to override that right, which puts the person in a dilemma. Also, respect for a person can take a dark ethical path, such as a wealthy elderly who is sick and went to the hospital unconscious. However, because the family is greedy and they want his wealth, they used this opportunity to sign a do not resuscitate (DNR) form because the elderly are unconscious and unable to make his own medical decision. An ethical issue with beneficence is that a person went to the hospital and signed a DNR and upon crashing, a nurse/doctor disregarded that DNR and that person’s right and resuscitate the person against their will. An ethical issue with justice is the unfair treatment that a person who was entitled to receiving a benefit did not get that benefit with no reason of why (Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1979).
Aratani, L. (2020). Coughing while Asian’: living in fear as racism feeds off coronavirus panic. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/24/coronavirus-us-asian-americans-racism
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.(1979). The Belmont Report. Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/belmont-report/read-the-belmont-report/index.html
Marshall, M. (2005). Diabetes in African Americans. Postgrad Med J, 81(962), 734-740. Doi: 10.1136/pgmj.2004.028274
SoloVieff, N., Hartley, W. S. Baldwin, T. C., Klings, S. E., Gladwin, T. M., Taylor, G. J., … Sebastiani, P. (2011). Ancestry of African Americans with Sickle Cell Disease. Blood Cells Mol Dis, 47(1), 41-45. Doi: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2011.04.002