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Distrust In Health Care Essay

1016 words - 5 pages

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, trust is defined as having a belief in something or someone that is honest, good, and dependable. Having trust in any relationship is vital but especially important in regards to the patient and physician dynamics. Certain past experiences can influence a person’s trust in the health care system and a negative experience can impact their ability to trust and receive effective treatment. Throughout history African Americans have been subjected to racism and discrimination in which these past experiences can be pasted down from generation to generation effecting their beliefs in the health care system. Experimentation on slaves and the Tuskegee ...view middle of the document...

The Tuskegee Experiment was a government-sponsored study in which they took 600 black men from Macon County, Alabama; 399 had syphilis and 201 did not have the disease. Researchers told the men that they were being treated for “bad blood” but in reality they were not given the appropriate treatment for their disease once penicillin became the preferred drug of choice for treatment in the late 1940s (CDC, 2013). The study was suppose to only last six months but continued for forty years. The Tuskegee Experiment only reinforced African Americans distrust in health care that continues to the present day.
Trust is important in any relationship but especially important with the relationship that a patient and physician has. Without trust the patient will not be willing to do such things as disclose their full medical history, want to partake in any physical exams, or follow any recommendations for follow-ups, tests, or treatments. Having a lack of trust does not allow for effective treatment of any patient. Without trust patients may be less likely to even visit a physician when they are sick which in return can affect their over all health. They will exhibit “less doctor-patient interaction, reduced adherence to recommendations, worse self-reported health, and reduced utilization of health care services; thus, Blacks’ relatively lower trust in the health care system puts them at a greater risk of all these negative outcomes” (Musa, Schulz, Harris, Silverman, & Thomas, 2009). Exuding trust thus allows for all services to be used and better patient satisfaction. If trust is not had for the health care system, patients will be less likely to see a physician and untimely creating lower life expectancies for themselves.
The United States health care system has not been too kind historically to the African American population. They have been subjected to multiple events of discrimination throughout the years. Once the Tuskegee Experiment was put to an end because it was found to be ethically unjustified a lawsuit soon followed. A settlement was reached in 1974 that resulted in the government...

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