Disparities in Healthcare: Does Everyone Receive the Same Standard of Care?

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Research shows that healthcare is not equal among all demographics and it is evident that throughout time, various groups of people have been taken advantage of by the medical community.
In the United States, we believe that health care should not differ by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status or geographic location. When these differences do exist, they are referred to as disparities. We see this when racial and ethnic minorities receive lower quality healthcare than whites, when age is a determinant of quality of care, when level of education or sexual orientation are taken into consideration or when a person is uninsured or must rely on government issued health coverage for care. It is important to understand that differences in people will always exist; it is wrong, however, when these differences lead to unequal care. The existence of inequality in health care represents a failure of the healthcare system to provide equal, high quality care to all individuals.
In the past, before the government regulated experimentation on humans and prior to patients’ having to give consent to be involved in studies that could potentially harm them, many doctors and researchers took advantage of these people. The poorest and most illiterate of populations were recruited for experimental medical studies that were invasive, harmful and could result in death. These were the people they believed would not object and would not realize that what was being done to them was wrong.
One of the longest running experiments performed on a minority group was the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment spanned 40 years; from 1932-1972 and involved 399 black men in the late stages of syphilis. The effects of advanced syphilis include tumors, heart disease, paralysis, insanity and eventually, death. These men, for the most part illiterate sharecroppers from poor counties in Alabama, were never told what disease they suffered from or the degree of severity of their

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