Medical mistrust/discrimination: Provide example, include reaction from the public (change made from govt). Include your personal feelings. (500-600 words). APA format
Medical Mistrust/Discrimination in Maternal Child Care
Medical distrust is described as the lack of trust in or suspicion of medical organizations. Discrimination is a formidable barrier to enhancement in maternal and child care. According to Thayer, Bécares, and Carr (2019), medical discrimination in maternal child care entails not only direct, physical exclusion, but also unequal access, the stigma that results in self-exclusion, lack of courtesy and mistreatment by service providers, and loss of control over fertility, including through lack of access to contraception. When assessing whites’ and blacks’ reproductive health outcomes, this disparity is apparent and has increased over the past decade. This paper aims to assess racial discrimination in maternal-child care facing black women, which has resulted in medical mistrust and increased infant mortality rates.
Despite an overall decrease in infant and maternal death, the gap between races has increased. Embedded with these consistent disparities are the current effects of institutional racism, which started with Black people’s enslavement by early healthcare institutions and has continued to influence practices and policies of maternal child care (Thayer et al., 2019). For instance, African American women have often been regarded as guinea pigs. According to Brown Speights et al. (2017), experimental reproductive surgeries, such as ovariotomy and cesarean, were commonly tested on enslaved Black Women.
A glaring example of this abuse is from the American Medical Association, James Marion Sims, who conducted various reproductive experimental surgeries without anesthesia on enslaved African American Women (Bécares & Carr, 2019). This account of abuse and neglect resulted in African American women developing deep-rooted mistrust of health care institutions, which has directly influenced African American women’s engagement with healthcare institutions in these modern days.
According to the public, Dr. Sims’ experimental surgeries without anesthesia on black women who could not consent, are described as an example of racism in maternal child care. This resulted in public uproar and criticism from authors who wrote various articles condemning his actions against black women. The government responded by enacting various laws and legislation such as the Civil Rights Act to provide black women dignity during childbirth and prevent dangerous medical experiments.
Even after the Civil Rights Act, clinics and hospitals reserved for minority families have remained under-resourced due to racism. However, government policies embedded in the United Nations (UN) and Human Rights Council have developed measures that ensure equal treatment for black women by enhancing accountability for preventable maternal mortality (Brown Speights et al., 2017). Moreover, governments have formed Committees on eliminating discrimination against women, tasked with administrating States parties’ implementation of their duty under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
My personal feelings about the topic are that the government still has a long way to ensure equal maternal child care. For instance, the government and health organization boards should implement stringent laws that curb medical discrimination and mistrust in maternal child care to ensure the violators are dealt with lawfully.
Brown Speights, J. S., Nowakowski, A. C., De Leon, J., Mitchell, M. M., & Simpson, I. (2017). Engaging African American women in research: an approach to eliminate health disparities in the African American community. Family practice, 34(3), 322-329. https://academic.oup.com/fampra/article/34/3/322/3106330?login=true
Thayer, Z., Bécares, L., & Carr, P. A. (2019). Maternal experiences of ethnic discrimination and subsequent birth outcomes in Aotearoa New Zealand. BMC public health, 19(1), 1-8. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12889-019-7598-z