“So, Sue Me:” Medical Professionals Should Support Title VI Civil Rights Law Improvements as Part of their Anti-racism Work

DiChristina, Wendy Dunne

Through its professional associations and healthcare organizations, the medical community has made numerous anti-racism statements in the past year, including the American Medical Association’s (“AMA’s) Organizational Strategic Plan to Embed Racial Justice and Advance Health Equity. Converting these statements into practical change will take time and money. In addition to implementing anti-bias training and education on racism in clinical practice, the medical community should also advocate to enhance and enforce Title VI anti-discrimination laws. The current limitations on enforcement conflict with the medical community’s ethical duty to improve health equity and treat all patients with a high standard of care. Advocating for legislation that meets the standards of other civil rights laws to hold the healthcare industry legally responsible for discrimination should be part of medical professionals’ anti-racism work. 
Development of Civil Rights in Health Care

Despite the lack of a federal constitutional right to health care, the United States does acknowledge the importance of health and health care through its laws and spending decisions. In 2010, the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) created health insurance options for 20 million additional Americans and reduced the gap in healthcare access among populations. Although it did not ensure a right to health care and it does not guarantee a right to health, healthcare access is an important element of a healthy life and broadening the reach of health insurance is a worthy goal. 


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Voices in Bioethics

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August 29, 2022


racism, Title VI, discrimination, racial discrimination, civil rights, ethics, bioethics, disparate impact, anti-racism