Social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, and age. Before learning more about surgical disparities and their effects on various racial and ethnic groups, researchers will need more of these data.
Minority patients receive more aggressive end-of-life interventions than white patients, according to the authors of a recent study. The answer has to do, in part, with the history of maltreatment of vulnerable populations. Some minority patients, or their family members, have been the recipients of substandard medical care.
The healthcare industry must recognize that it is not enough to avoid actions that are affirmatively biased against minority groups. It takes affirmative efforts to overcome a deeply ingrained history of exclusion.