Social Justice is a Health Necessity

SOCIAL JUSTICE  -  Re-examining and Transforming Medicine

THEN is committed to the re-examination and transformation of medical science, training and  practice to make Health Equity and Social Justice a reality.  SOCIAL JUSTICE is fair treatment of all people in a society, including fair access to wealth, opportunities and privileges among all members of a society. 

Achieving Health Equity is best understood as SOCIAL JUSTICE
It has long been recognized that the right to a long and healthy life requires:   
   o  Fair treatment in all areas  (an end to discrimination and victimization)
   o  Access to all basic needs (safety, housing, food, education, jobs)
   o  Access to all basic healthcare services, and 
   o  Respectful, patient-centered care

From studying Trauma and its impact on Brain-Body Regulation, we can now ALSO SEE:
   o  The impact of the "social determinants of health" (such as poverty, housing and food insecurity, more) 
   o  and very importantly, the impact of the Trauma of Discrimination 


Braveman (2019). Swimming Against the Tide:  Challenges in Pursuing Health Equity Today.  Academic Medicine.   Braveman calls upon academic medicine to make a commitment to addressing prevailing forces that exclude, marginalize and disadvantages groups of people based on gender identity, race, weath, amd abilities - and to act as a powerful force in resetting norms to create a world where everyone has a fair and just opportunity for health.

Bailey (2017) Structural racism and health inequities in the USA:  evidence and interventions.  Lancet.  Despite growing understanding of how social factors drive health outcomes, many remain reluctant to identify racism as a root cause of racial health inequities.  This report analyzes how mutually reinforcing systems foster racial discrimination in housing, education, employment, health care and criminal justice - and proposes how focus on structural racism could offer a concrete approach towards advancing health equity.