Health literacy, health inequality and a just healthcare system

American Journal of Bioethics 7 (11):5 – 10 (2007)
Abstract
Limited health literacy is a pervasive and independent risk factor for poor health outcomes. Despite decades of reports exhibiting that the healthcare system is overly complex, unneeded complexity remains commonplace and endangers the lives of patients, especially those with limited health literacy. In this article, we define health literacy and describe the empirical evidence associating health literacy and poor health outcomes. We recast the issue of poor health literacy from within the ethical perspective of the least well-off and argue that poor health outcomes deriving from limited health literacy ought to be understood as a fundamental injustice of the healthcare system. We offer three proposals that attempt to rectify this injustice, including: universal precautions that presume limited health literacy for all healthcare users; expanded use of technology supported communication; and clinical incentives that account for limited health literacy.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/15265160701638520
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 32,678
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Just Health Care.Norman Daniels - 1985 - Cambridge University Press.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
A Storytelling Approach: Insights From the Shambaa.Camillo Lamanna - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Humanities:1-13.
Health Literacy: More Than a One-Way Street.Karama C. Neal - 2007 - American Journal of Bioethics 7 (11):29 – 30.
Health Literacy and Autonomy.Richard H. Dees - 2007 - American Journal of Bioethics 7 (11):22 – 23.
Illiteracy Ain't What It Used to Be.Howard Trachtman - 2007 - American Journal of Bioethics 7 (11):27 – 28.
Justice, Health Literacy and Social Epidemiology.Daniel S. Goldberg - 2007 - American Journal of Bioethics 7 (11):18 – 20.

View all 12 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Concepts of Health and Disease.Jozsef Kovács - 1989 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 14 (3):261-267.
Justice, Health, and Healthcare.Norman Daniels - 2001 - American Journal of Bioethics 1 (2):2 – 16.
Broadening the Bioethics Agenda.Dan W. Brock - 2000 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 10 (1):21-38.
Is Inequality Bad for Our Health?Jeffrey D. Milyo & Jennifer M. Mellor - 1999 - Critical Review 13 (3-4):359-372.
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
37 ( #160,309 of 2,236,883 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #54,877 of 2,236,883 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature