Healthcare is supposed to be like a nurturing figure. It is supposed to heap and heal and make us feel better. As Americans, we have the privilege to great healthcare and also the right to health as well. American’s receive some of the best healthcare in the world but our system is also laced with injustice and violence. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. says, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.”
The injustice in healthcare is incredibly vivid as stated in the facts. For many cultural minorities, quality of life is greatly impacted by chronic health conditions and lack of care. And while minorities are affected by this structural violence it is sometimes hard to notice because it is so deeply imbedded into our society. There are 50 million people in america living without health insurance and its due to a multitude of reasons. The economic reality of the current times make it hard to promote universal healthcare without flipping the system around greatly, and that causes a lot of fear in the political system.
We are guaranteed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Jefferson outlined that in the constitution–we’ve all heard it before. But what about healthcare? In a country that stresses independence and free will, it is very hard to pursue the basic things in life without simply being healthy. Of course this leads to the political realm of health care that is mostly too complex for me too follow at times. We have basic needs as human beings and in the case of Acephie, the interplay of structure and agency along with the interjection of structural violence ultimately led to her death.
Structural violence is prevalent today, and was very explicit in Acephie’s story as well. The interdependence of structure and agency made it hard for Acephie to get the care that she needed. It was almost a cause and effect situation. Although she knew some of the things she was getting herself into, it was the structural violence which was so deeply imbedded into society, that seemingly bound her to her decisions as an impoverished woman. And as an impoverished woman working for the basic needs of life, she was physically unable to get healthcare for herself because healthcare doesn’t necessarily fall under “things I need to buy for myself to stay alive.” Healthcare isn’t a thing that is actively thought of until it’s absolutely needed, and minorities and victims of structural violence shouldn’t have to travel near and far to get the care that they deserve as an American citizen.