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American Journal of Bioethics.

Shrinking Poor White Life Spans: Class, Race, and Health Justice

An absolute decline in US life expectancy in low education whites has alarmed policy makers and attracted media attention. Depending on which studies are correct, low education white women have lost between 3 and 5 years of lifespan; men, between 6 months and 3 years. Although absolute declines in life expectancy are relatively rare, some commentators see the public alarm as reflecting a racist concern for white lives over black ones. How ought we ethically to evaluate this lifespan contraction in low education whites? Should we care, or is it racist to care? Does it constitute an injustice or reflect justice being done? I argue that the lifespan contraction in low education whites violates key normative criteria used to make determinations of health justice, and that these judgments do not vitiate concerns about racism. I conclude with reflections on US population health policy and building an inclusive health equity movement.

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Volume 18, Issue 10
October 2018

Target Articles.

A Radical Approach to Ebola: Saving Humans and Other Animals Sarah J. L. Edwards, Charles H. Norell, Phyllis Illari, Brendan Clarke & Carolyn P. Neuhaus