Diversity and Cultural Competence in Medicine – Social&Family Issues Example

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"Diversity and Cultural Competence in Medicine" is an outstanding example of a paper on social and family issues. Racism has dominated American society for centuries. However, it is currently taking different forms that can suit the changing times.   Indeed, it has changed with time since in the 1970s; it was characterized by the segregation of African-Americans in social and public institutions. Coates (2008) described the race as the process of structured events that eventually demonstrate a biased system where individuals, as well as groups, are radicalized. Nevertheless, despite the abolition of the laws that perpetuated racism in the twentieth century, basic beliefs still exist.

The advantage of being white still dominates opportunities such as education, employment, political representation, media influence, and healthcare (Jonas, 2005) as seen in the case study below. The chapter to be discussed relates to a case study in Abington Hospital in Pennsylvania where a husband of a white patient made a rare demand that African-American staff working in the hospital should not enter her room. This was a serious show of racism and discrimination that has been increasingly criticized with antiracism proponents pushing for a legal action to be taken against the hospital.

The patient and family were granted their wish of ensuring that no African-American entered the room and this was pleasing to them since they held racist ideals and in the long run its common knowledge that they were extremely happy with the hospital and its management. However, on the other hand, the various individuals working at the hospital were not amazed by the decision and saw it as an act of discrimination and racism.

The civil right of the African-American staff was violated and this act must have demoralized and de-motivated them.                       In this case study, it is significant to note that in case anything went wrong with the decision made by the hospital in granting the demands of the patient’ s husband, the hospital was to take full responsibility. This is because the hospital was expected to provide counseling to the biased husband that the mission of the hospital is to provide the highest quality healthcare to the patients and therefore discriminating against some staff members based on their race would hinder the mission (Reed, 2011).

Incase such an incidence happens in another healthcare facility, the management of the hospital should not take the same actions that were taken by the hospital, in this case, study, rather it should counsel the client that discriminating the health professionals do not only lay on the line their quest for quality medical care but also affects the civil rights of the individuals and could lead to legal action being taken against the facility.                       The suggestion given above is based on the fact that the affected African-American staff could sue the hospital for infringing on their civil rights and consequently de-motivate the human resource in the hospital.

This could lead to reduced productivity and consequently the quality of healthcare that is provided at the hospital. In the context of a business or financial considerations, despite that the fact that the hospital is likely to lose some racist clients, the financial loss in terms of legal battles and patients who are proponents of antiracism boycotting the hospital is likely to be immense.

The analysis provided in this paper will not change when reflected on the other aspects of diversity such as language fluency, religion, age among others. The only thing that should be introduced is a translator in case of a language barrier. In conclusion, the discrimination and racism that is witnessed in the health sector should be curbed since it does not only affect and infringe on the rights of the African-American personnel but also jeopardize the quality of healthcare services accorded to the patient.


Coates, R. D (2008). Covert Racism in the USA and Globally. Sociology Compass 2(1): 208–231.

Jonas, G. (2005). Freedom’s sword: the NAACP and the struggle against racism in America, 1909-1969. New York: Rutledge.

Reed, W. (June 21, 2011). How can we eliminate racism in America? RightssideWire

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