Shrinking Poor White Life Spans: Class, Race, and Health Justice

American Journal of Bioethics 18 (10):3-14 (2018)

An absolute decline in US life expectancy in low education whites has alarmed policy makers and attracted media attention. Depending on which studies are correct, low education white women have lost between 3 and 5 years of lifespan; men, between 6 months and 3 years. Although absolute declines in life expectancy are relatively rare, some commentators see the public alarm as reflecting a racist concern for white lives over black ones. How ought we ethically to evaluate this lifespan contraction in low education whites? Should we care, or is it racist to care? Does it constitute an injustice or reflect justice being done? I argue that the lifespan contraction in low education whites violates key normative criteria used to make determinations of health justice, and that these judgments do not vitiate concerns about racism. I conclude with reflections on US population health policy and building an inclusive health equity movement.
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DOI 10.1080/15265161.2018.1513585
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References found in this work BETA

Just Health: Meeting Health Needs Fairly.Norman Daniels - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
The Idea of Justice.Amartya Sen - 2009 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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