Ethox Seminar: The moral value of diversity. An intersectional ethical analysis of diversity and discrimination in medicine and health care
Dr Merle Weßel, Postdoctoral researcher, Ethics in Medicine, Department of Health Services Research, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
Tuesday, 21 March 2023, 11am to 12.30pm
This will be a hybrid seminar in the Richard Doll Building, Rosemary Rue Meeting Room and on Zoom (see registration link below).
People with diverse identities often face injustice and discrimination due to their marginalised political and social status, which can negatively impact their physical and mental health. The poor health of marginalised people frequently cumulates over their lifetime based on an unhealthy living environment, lack of access to good nutrition and clean water, physical labour, and unequal access to health care. Further, in health care and medicine, they can experience unequal access and treatment and injustice in the context of diagnosis and health outcomes. Their experience of discrimination is based on multiple structural factors and is not adequately addressed in current debates on justice in medicine and health care.
The Black feminist theory of intersectionality is a tool to analyse and understand multidimensional structural discrimination based on unequal power structures that are not visible in one-dimensional approaches to discrimination, such as sexism, racism, or classism. Medical ethics has only recently discovered intersectionality as useful approach.
In this talk, I propose intersectionality as a helpful tool to address the injustice and discrimination of people with diverse identities in medicine and health care. I analyse notions of social justice and responsibility by Iris Marion Young, approaches to feminist justice in health care by Susan Sherwin as well as intersectionality how a diversity-sensitive approach to just medicine and health care should look like to address diverse needs and prevent discrimination. With the help of the example of the injustice older diverse people experience in the context of addressing their care needs, I demonstrate the relevance of old age in context of medical ethics and intersectionality. In this way I contribute to discourse on good ageing as well as intersectionality from an ethical point of view.