Social bias and injustice in the current health care system
This paper reflects upon historical and modern events and challenges emergency physicians to affirm a genuine commitment to social justice. Such an affirmation does not allow the physician to rest in the belief that the system is inherently just. Rather, it challenges the practitioner to recognize the widespread and inherent injustices that are present. It is probable that significant strides have been made toward protecting the rights and dignity of our patients. Even so, much remains to be done. Poor and minority patients are still less than optimally treated, and increasing marketplace competitiveness may jeopardize some of the recent gains in caring for the uninsured. Future generations may look upon some of the current discriminatory practices of our professional lifetimes with the condemnation that we hold for past abuses.