Medical Mistrust and Enduring Racism in South Africa

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 18 (1):117-120 (2021)
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Abstract

In this essay, I argue that exploring institutional racism also needs to examine interactions and communications between patients and providers. Exchange between bioethicists, social scientists, and life scientists should emphasize the biological effects—made evident through health disparities—of racism. I discuss this through examples of patient–provider communication in fertility clinics in South Africa and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to emphasize the issue of mistrust between patients and medical institutions. Health disparities and medical mistrust are interrelated problems of racism in healthcare provision.

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