New Hastings Center special report on anti-Black racism in bioethics

The Hastings Center has published a special report on “A Critical Moment in Bioethics: Reckoning with Anti‐Black Racism through Intergenerational Dialogue.” As stated in a news release announcing the report, it “calls on the field of bioethics to take the lead in efforts to remedy racial injustice and health inequities in the United States.”

The special report includes contributions from faculty in the Center for Bioethics and Social Justice. The essay “Colonial Geographies, Black Geographies, and Bioethics” comes from Jennifer McCurdy, PhD, assistant professor. Additionally, “On the Shoulders of Giants: A Reckoning with Social Justice” was co-authored by Libby Bogdan-Lovis, specialist emerita, Karen Kelly-Blake, PhD, associate director of academic programming, and Wendy Jiang, MPH (MD candidate at University of Alabama at Birmingham).

The editors of this special report are Faith E. Fletcher, PhD, MA; Keisha S. Ray, PhD; Virginia A. Brown, PhD, MA; and Patrick T. Smith, PhD, MDiv, MA. Fletcher, Senior Advisor at The Hastings Center and recent 40 Under 40 Leaders in Health Award Winner, is an alumna of the Center for Bioethics and Social Justice’s former MA program in Bioethics, Humanities, and Society.

The full report can be accessed for free via Wiley Online Library.

Dr. Fleck published in ‘Hastings Center Report’ on Black Lives Matter and inequities in the U.S. healthcare system

Leonard Fleck photo

In the current issue of the Hastings Center Report, Center Acting Director and Professor Dr. Leonard Fleck shared a perspective on “Some Lives Matter: The Dirty Little Secret of the U.S. Health Care System.”

Abstract: Our health care system in the United States reflects the inequities that are part of the larger society, which is why our system for financing access to needed and effective health care is so complicated and unfair.

Visit the journal’s website for free access to the full text. Dr. Fleck is one of more than 200 Hastings Center Fellows.

Book review from Dr. Fleck published in ‘Hastings Center Report’

Leonard Fleck photoA new book review by Center Professor Dr. Leonard Fleck has been published in the September/October 2017 Hastings Center Report. Titled “Despairing about Health Disparities,” Dr. Fleck reviews the book Understanding Health Inequalities and Justice: New Conversations across the Disciplines, edited by Mara Buchbinder, Michele Rivkin-Fish, and Rebecca Walker (University of North Carolina Press, 2016).

Abstract: I have never doubted that the problem of inequalities in health status and access to needed care is a difficult ethical and political challenge. After reading the essays in Understanding Health Inequalities and Justice: New Conversations across the Disciplines, edited by Mara Buchbinder, Michele Rivkin-Fish, and Rebecca Walker, I concluded that despair was the only suitable response in the face of daunting ethical and political complexity. The editors of this volume have three questions in mind that they asked contributors to address. (1) How do scholars from various disciplines approach relations between health inequalities and ideals of justice? Social scientists want to offer empirical descriptions of inequalities in health status across a range of social groups, but there are numerous ways of offering such descriptions. Are they all “correct”? Philosophers and medical ethicists want to make normative judgments regarding which inequalities matter, ethically speaking. So (2) do we need to know when considerations of justice are relevant to assessing health inequalities and which considerations of justice are most relevant in specific contexts? Ultimately, (3) the question is which of these scholarly approaches is most useful for improving health policy.

The full text is available via Wiley Online Library (MSU Library or other institutional access may be required to view this article).