LGBT Health as a Tool for Social Justice

Reflections on racism and oppression in midwifery

The article “LGBT Health as a Tool for Social Justice” stresses the importance of how health impacts and shapes society, and how a patient’s demographics affect their ability to enjoy fully healthy lives. A core principle of social justice regarding the medical field is that everyone deserves care that addresses every aspect of their lives, especially in minority populations or those on the margins where these needs are not being met. In particular, this article was discussing the disparities that LGBT people face, such as low rates of insurance coverage, anti-LGBT violence, and systemic discrimination. Due to the obstacles that LGBT people face in order to receive health care, many don’t feel safe or have access to good quality care and instead face negative health outcomes alone. This paper aims to examine the overlap between sexual orientation and gender identity that are associated with other demographics such as race and ethnicity, and how we can bridge these gaps in care. By first understanding these gaps in care and discrepancies,  we can then hope to implement change and equitable policies so everyone can receive quality care addressing every aspect of their lives. The article outlines a few intentions to intervene and how we can implement change in the medical field; by involving bystanders and allies to improve the climate in the medical setting, and dismantling the biases and stigmas that LGBT persons face.

Baker, K. (2010). LGBT Health as a Tool for Social Justice. Conference Paper: 138st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266792288_LGBT_Health_as_a_Tool_for_Social_Justice (Links to an external site.) Accessed November 2019.

Summary by Rachel Schmauder, 1st year Midwifery Student, Bastyr University

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