African American Mistrust of the US Medical System

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

Historical Context of African American Mistrust of US Healthcare

There has been some progress in the fight against discrimination in the US healthcare system. Unfortunately, the war is far from over, and

more needs to be done. Many African Americans mistrust US healthcare institutions, as proven by horrific historical events. African Americans recount the tragic and appalling cases, such as the Tuskegee

Experiments, where hundreds of black men were deceived into participating in unethical medical studies for syphilis treatments. During the experiments, some patients were left to die without receiving proper medical attention.

Current African American Mistrust of the US Healthcare System

Yet even today, we are still trying to resolve the aftermath of this issue. During the COVID-19 pandemic, African Americans are considered to be at a higher risk of contracting and dying from the disease than other races. Yet despite increasing public access to vaccines, many African Americans are hesitant to take them due to their mistrust of the medical system and prior inhumane treatment.

In Conclusion

Every American understands the urgent need to obtain medical assistance, no matter race you are. However, until there is more government intervention, with clear no-tolerance policies for racially motivated racism, bias, and inequities in the healthcare system, African American mistrust will prevail. Empowerment and awareness campaigns aimed towards healthcare professionals, encouraging equality, respect, and empathy, may provide a path forward for the nation to explore. Until we become proactive about this issue, the mistrust will continue to lead to the senseless loss of more black lives.


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