Monday, December 21, 2009

Elder Care and the LGBT Community.

I've been saying for a while that the fight for patients' rights would best be served by a coalition of those who already do amazing work on behalf of women's, elder, and gay rights - three groups that are predominately discriminated against by the state, the medical industry, and "pro-life" groups (who work to impose religious doctrine on how medical care is delivered).

In my postings here I've been consistently trying to address health care from such a perspective. While I write primarily about end of life care (elder and terminal care) expect to see more women's and LGBT issues here (although I already do cover a bit of the former).

The Center for American Progress today has an extensive article about the gap of coverage and care for LGBT elders. Here's a clip:

Despite this progress, however, members of the LGBT population continue to experience worse health outcomes than their heterosexual counterparts. Due to factors like low rates of health insurance coverage, high rates of stress due to systematic harassment and discrimination, and a lack of cultural competency in the health care system, LGBT people are at a higher risk for cancer, mental illnesses, and other diseases, and are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol, use drugs, and engage in other risky behaviors.

People who are both LGBT and members of a racial or ethnic minority will often face the highest level of health disparities. For example, as the National Coalition for LGBT Health notes, a black gay man faces disparities common to the African-American community as well as those suffered by the LGBT community, and a transgender Spanish-speaking woman, regardless of her sexual orientation, must navigate multiple instances of discrimination based on language, ethnicity, and gender. A companion CAP brief, “How to Close the LGBT Health Disparities Gap: Disparities by Race and Ethnicity,” explores these in more detail.

Health surveys cannot continue to treat populations in isolation: Members of the LGBT community who are members of other populations that are recognized as suffering from health disparities must be allowed to identify themselves fully on surveys, including their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Access to health care and insurance graphs

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home