Excerpted From: Vernellia R. Randall, Eliminating Racial Discrimination in Health Care: A Call for State Health Care Anti-discrimination Law, 10 DePaul Journal of Health Care Law 1 (Fall 2006) (123 Footnotes) (Full Document)


vernelliarandall2015“It might be that civil rights laws often go unenforced; it might be that current inequities spring from past prejudice and long standing economic differences that are not entirely reachable by law; or it might be that the law sometimes fails to reflect, and consequently fails to correct, the barriers faced by people of color.” --Derrick Bell

Equal access to quality health care is a crucial issue facing the United States (“US”). For too long, we have denied too many Americans equal access to quality health care based on race, ethnicity, and gender. Many factors contribute to inequities: cultural incompetence of health care providers, socioeconomic inequities, disparate impact of facially neutral practices and policies, inadequacy of civil rights laws and enforcement, and multiple forms of discrimination. These inequities exist in health status, access to health care services, participation in health research and receipt of health care financing. This inequity in health care is doubly significant given the devastating racial inequity in health status that exists. The combination of racial inequity in health status, institutional racism in health care and inadequate legal protection points to a need for a major civil rights law for health care.