AMA Journal of Ethics
Volume 23, Number 2: E83-211 Feb 2021
Racial and Ethnic Health Equity in the US: Part 1
Health equity is defined by the World Health Organization as the “absence of unfair and avoidable or remediable differences in health among social groups.” Domestically and globally, health inequity is not a historical accident. Inequity today is not unfortunate—that is, not a product of a mere turn of the proverbial cosmic wheel—but unjust—that is, generated by colonial, White supremacist policies and practices structured and maintained over time, forged to persist in hierarchies that serve some of us, our ancestors, and our descendants well and some of us, our ancestors, and our descendants ill. This first of a 2-part theme issue focuses specifically on racial and ethnic inequity in morbidity, mortality, and access to services that are endemic to American life. We investigate health inequity as a product of transgenerational patterns of oppression that must be remediated by all of us compassionately and more deliberately and quickly than they were created.