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Introduction (30 points)
It is now generally recognized that the segregation times were a truly dark period of the American history. Discrimination had been dictating an unequal way to treat citizens of the United States for a long period of time, and it hindered the possibility of the natural social evolution. Apparently, it had to be stopped, and as a sign of hope for those who had been discriminated and victimized, the big step to equality had been taken. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 altered the culture, lifestyle and the whole American society itself. In other words, it started a new era in the civil right policy. Changing every aspect of the United States peoples lives, it surely had an impact on the health policy (Civil Rights Act of (1964)).
Analysis (30 points) Total points 300
The health care was influenced by racial segregation as well as any other side of these days’ social life. Particularly in the South, there were separated hospitals for white people and for the African-Americans.
The African-American physicians were not able to work anywhere but in black hospitals, which were low-funded. The situation with nurses was the same. In fact, the qualification of a nurse and experience did not matter as African-American nurses were not allowed to work with the white ones.
There is no doubt that the segregation in the health care system caused lots of discomfort and negative consequences, not only in a social way but also in medical. It was clear that the black doctors who had no privileges were less qualified, so their patients had less qualified treatment. Of course, these patients were black as well because the African-American doctors were not allowed to work with the white people. Even when the patient was dying, it was prohibited to use proper blood if it was donated by the person of another color. It is commonly believed that one of the African-American physician pioneers Charles R. Drew, M. D., bled to death because he was refused to be given the “white” blood. This fact is false, but the history actually knows cases when the segregation policy of the hospitals actually caused lethal results.
The Hill-Burton Act of 1946 was supposed to change everything. The hospitals of the United States of America were to go through some changes to get a result which was simple – provision of equal medical support to every citizen of the country, regardless of the color of his/her skin. Undoubtedly, it didn’t happen immediately and without any problems.
In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson officially signed the Civil Rights Act, which, in fact, ended the segregation. After some time, this and many more approaches started to work.
Conclusions (30 points)
In conclusion, it is important to admit that it would be wrong to declare that racism in health care is not present anymore. However, the changes that have already been made are beyond any doubt. For example, the American Medical Association had an African-American President, Surgeons general, secretary of HEW (now HHS), and the AHA chair representatives – all these positions had been taken by the black people. It shows that education, qualification and professionalism, are notions that matter in health care system these days, regardless of the color of the skin.
Recommendations (50 points)
There is no doubt that the racial and ethnic question is still present nowadays; however, some progress has also been made. To continue the positive course of getting rid of the disparities, we should proceed the way which has already resulted in significant alterations of the healthcare sector. The priority of the health care system should be the well-being of the nation. The modern hospital staff cares about their work and the patients’ insurance, not considering the patients color of skin. The patients, in their turn, do not care about the ethnicity of the professionals which are providing care to them. Most privileges for the physicians today are granted due to their professional qualification (Wesley, 2010). The white staff sees no problem in being supervised by more skilled people of color. Hospital administrations put efforts in representing the minorities on their boards.
Questions (160 points)
- There might be different forms of public policies. For instance, the Civil Act is a law that determines relations between people, while Hill-Burton act might be considered a regulation that provides important recommendations. Finally, there are numerous judicial decisions like Eaton vs. Board of managers that also influence this sphere.
- Hill-Burton act influenced the financial category of the health care sector. Moreover, there are also Medicaid and federal policies that impact the sphere.
- It could be considered both health and civil rights policy as the attitude to citizens of the state impacts the way they are provided with services, including medical care. That is why the Civil Act influences the healthcare greatly.
- The enhancement of the act was impacted by numerous environmental forces. Significant shifts in the structure of society and alterations of mentality preconditioned the appearance of the new perspective on this issue.
- The case also evidences the fact that courts were significant actors which contributed to the evolution of the Civil Act. The majority of decisions accepted by the Supreme Court and other courts insisted on the obedience to the law and acting in respect to the rights of all citizens of the USA, including African-Americans. In such a way, courts contributed to the evolution of the Act.
- The Civil Act had an overwhelming impact on American hospitals. It altered the approach to the organization of hospitals functioning and provided African-Americans with an opportunity to enjoy the same services as the white ones.
- The case also emphasizes the fact that private-sector actors contributed to the shift of priorities towards the equality. Being interested in new patients, they wanted to work with different social groups to guarantee stable incomes.
- Resting on the information presented in the case, it is possible to conclude that the Hill-Burton act was not efficient enough. Some of its main points defied logics and contributed to the further preservation of the biased attitude to African-Americans and segregation in the health care sector. The inefficiency of the act contributed to its low popularity and the desire to ignore it.
Civil Rights Act of 1964, Pub.L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241 (1964).
Wesley, N. Jr. (2010). Black hospitals in America: History, contributions, and demise. Tallahassee, FL: NRW Associates Publications.