Trust and disparities teaching resources
Films, books, and articles dealing with minorities, ethics and health
This list of teaching tools is not inclusive. If you would like to suggest resources to be included, please e-mail the Institute for Ethics at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Films (listed alphabetically)
Fox Searchlight, 2003, 117 minutes
True-story about a minority psychiatrist and minority patient coming to grips with various personal and psychological struggles. Starring Denzel Washington.
Breast Health – African American Edition
Aquarius Films, 1995, 16 minutes
A multicultural video, the first of its kind, showing a woman over 60 performing a breast exam on herself.
A Celebration of Life: Rising Above Breast Cancer
Aquarius Films, 2000, 58 minutes
The film examines the three reasons that African American women suffer from breast cancer disproportionately: fear, lack of access to health care and racial and economic bias. This documentary spans the country and talks with women who met the challenge of breast cancer and took command of their health needs. Produced by Dean Radclife Lynes.
New Line Cinema, 2002, 112 minutes
When his son falls seriously ill and needs an emergency heart transplant operation that John Q. can't afford and his health insurance won't cover, he takes the hospital emergency room hostage. Starring Denzel Washington
Miss Evers' Boys
HBO, 1997, 117 minutes
Made for TV movie telling the story of Miss Evers (a character based on nurse Eunice Rivers), a nurse in the "Tuskegee Experiment." Starring Laurence Fishburne, Alfre Woodard.
Wanted! Doctor on Horseback
National Film Board of Canada, 1995, 47 minutes
The true story of a young English doctor, Mary Percy Jackson (M.D. Birmingham 1928), who went to practice in northern Alberta for a year. She became the only physician responsible for the well being of aboriginals and settlers in a wide radius of remote territory where winters last more than six months and the only effective mode of transportation was the horse.
Columbia, 1992, 107 minutes
The story of a young Latino writer who loses the use of his legs after a climbing accident and the challenges he faces medically, existentially, romantically, sexually, institutionally, and socially. Starring William Forsythe, Helen Hunt, Wesley Snipes, Eric Stoltz
Fiction Literature & Poetry (listed alphabetically)
Coachella by Sheila Ortiz Taylor
University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM) 1998
A novel that explores how AIDS cuts across ethnic, sexual, and class lines.
A Festering Sweetness by Robert Coles
University of Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 1978
A collection of poetry stemming from the author's studies of the lives of poor black children in the South, and Native-American children in the Southwest and Alaska
Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
Harper Collins: Harper Perennial (New York, NY) 1993
The story of two Native-American (Chippewa) families whose lives interweave through several generations during the years 1934-1984.
The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon by Tom Spanbauer
Atlantic Monthly (Boston, MA) 1991
A novel that offers an alternative picture of healing and medicine, by relating the story of Shed, a half-Native American boy growing up in Idaho at the turn of century.
Milk by Eileen Pollack
Pushcart (Wainscott, NY) 1994
A short story telling how a black woman is betrayed by the medical world in a multitude of ways: misdiagnosis, racist treatment, denial of medical treatment, and incompetent care.
The Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara
Random House (New York) 1980
Set in a small southern town, this story follows a community of black faith healers who, searching for the healing properties of salt, witness an event that will change their lives forever.
Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy
Fawcett Crest (New York, NY) 1976
A chilling, futuristic novel about human experimentation on minorities.
Academic & Nonfiction Literature (listed alphabetically)
African-American Perspectives on Biomedical Ethics edited by E.D. Pellegrino, H. Flack
Georgetown University Press (Washington, DC) 1992
A dialogue between Africans, African-Americans, and Europeans that begins to break down the monopoly of European philosophy on biomedical ethics, a subject that affects people from all backgrounds.
An American Health Dilemma, Volume One: A Medical History of African Americans and the Problem of Race -Beginnings to 1900 by W. Michael Byrd, Lynda A. Clayton
Routledge (New York, NY) 2000
A Medical History of African Americans and the problem of race. The authors focus on the association between health care issues among African Americans and the abuses of human rights and political freedom that have plagued our nation almost from its inception.
An American Health Dilemma: Race, Medicine, and Health Care in the United States by W. Michael Byrd, Lynda A. Clayton
Routledge (New York, NY) 2001
This narrative explores 20th-century advances in healthcare, the development of the insurance industry, declining support for public health, and the myriad social and economic factors that have had disparate impacts on the health of African Americans.
American Indian Health: Innovations in Health Care, Promotion, and Policy edited by Everett R. Rhoades
Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD) 2002
Twenty six papers explore trends in the demographics of Indian health, its political and administrative bases, major health problems affecting this group, and special cultural and ethical considerations.
Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment by James H. Jones
Free Press (New York, NY) 1993
This account of the experiment performed on unknowing African American sharecroppers describes how the U.S. Public Health Service allowed syphilis to take its course without treatment and explains how such a tragedy occurred.
Dying in the City of the Blues: Sickle Cell Anemia and the Politics of Race and Health by Keith Wailloo
University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC) 2001
From slavery onward, diseases real and imaginary have played significant and complex roles in race relations.
Do They Hear You When You Cry by Fauziya Kassindja
Delacorte Press (New York, NY) 1998
Non-fiction work about the young woman who sought political asylum to avoid female genital mutilation.
Healing by Heart: Case Stories of Hmong Families and Western Providers edited by K.A. Culhane-Pera, D.E. Vawter, Phua Xiong, B. Babbitt, and M.M. Solberg
Vanderbilt University Press (Nashville, TN) 2003
A follow-up to The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman. Case stories covering a variety of situations, including newborns and infants, plus commentaries and other discussions of culturally-competent health care. At least half of the authors represented are members of the Hmong community, including patients, family members and professionals.
If You Poison Us: Uranium and Native Americans by Peter H. Eichstaedt
Red Crane Books (Santa Fe, NM) 1994
This examination by a longtime reporter for the Santa Fe New Mexican combines scientific, political, business, and tribal history, sketching the results of uranium mining on Navajo lands in the Southwest.
"It Just Ain't Fair" The Ethics of Health Care for African Americans edited by Annette Dula, Sara Goering
Praeger (New York, NY) 1994
This collection aims to bring ethicists face-to-face with the plight of a medically underserved population - African Americans. Health care professionals document disparities in health status and access to care, focusing on issues such as AIDS, homelessness and distribution of doctors.
Promises to Keep: Public Health Policy for American Indians and Alaska Natives in the 21st Century edited by Mim Dixon, Yvette Robideaux
American Public Health Association (Washington, DC) 2001
Explains the changes that are occurring in the Native American health care delivery system as it evolves from a federal government program to a health care system that increasingly is operated by tribes.
The Scalpel and the Silver Bear by Lori Arviso Alvord
Bantam (New York, NY) 1999
The Autobiography of Dr. Lori Arviso Alvord, from her humble beginnings on a Navajo reservation to her studies at Stanford Medical School to her current position as Associate Dean of Minority and Student Affairs at Dartmouth Medical School.
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY) 1997
A powerful account of a Hmong family in California and the difficulties in communicating across barriers of mistrust, religion, and healing beliefs and practices.
Tobacco Use by Native North Americans: Sacred Smoke and Silent Killer edited by Joseph C. Winter
University of Oklahoma Press (Norman, OK) 2001
This definitive work presents the origins, history, and contemporary use (and misuse) of tobacco by Native Americans.
Trials, Tribulations, and Celebrations: African American Perspectives on Health, Illness, Aging, and Loss edited by M.G. Secundy and L.L. Nixon
Intercultural (Yarmouth, ME) 1992
An anthology of poems, stories, excerpts and essays by African-American writers. This collection focuses on the divide that exists between the health care worker and patient, which is particularly prominent when color and economic status are different between them
Tuskegee's Truths edited by Susan Reverby
University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC) 2000
A collection of essays, accounts, interviews, and historical documents related to the USPHS syphilis study. Includes an essay that addresses the objections to the film "Miss Evers Boys," and written excerpts from the screenplay.
Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care report by Institute of Medicine Committee on Understanding and Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care
National Academy Press (Washington DC) 2002
Institute of Medicine report summarizing the liturature and research that has been done on racial disparities. This report contains data on racial disparities, its potential sources, and a list of recommendations outlined by the committee for eliminatioin of racial disparities.
This list includes selected articles on the topic of ethics and health disparities. For more resources,
please see the bibliography provided with our our Speaker's Kit on "Professional Ethics, Broken Trust, and Health Disparities."
Blendon, Robert J. et al. How White and African-Americans View Their Health and Social Problems: Different Experiences, Different Expectations. JAMA 1995; 273(4): 341-346.
Cooper-Patrick L, Gallo JJ, Gonzales JJ, Vu HT, Powe NR, Nelson C, Ford DC. Race, Gender, and Partnership in the Patient-Physician Relationship. JAMA 1999;282:583-589.
Corbie-Smith G, Thomas SB, Williams MV, Moody-Ayers S. Attitudes and beliefs of African Americans toward participation in medical research. J Gen Intern Med. 1999 Sep;14:537-46.
Doescher, MP, Saver, BG, Franks, P, Fiscella, K. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Perceptions of Physician Style and Trust. Arch Fam Med. 2000;9:1156-1163.
Freedman, Tovia G. "Why Don't They Come to Pike Street and Ask Us"? : Black American Women's Health Concerns. Social Science Med. 1998; 47(7): 941-947.
Freimuth, Vicki S. et al. African Americans’ views on research and the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Social Science Med. 2001; 51:797-808.
Gaskin DJ, Hoffman C. Racial and ethnic differences in preventable hospitalizations across 10 states. Med Care Res Rev. 2000;57 Suppl 1:85-107.
Gaston, MH et al. On the road to zero health disparities. Diversity Factor. 2001; 3:5-11.
Gornick ME, Eggers PW, Reilly TW, Mentnech RM, Fitterman LK, Kucken LE, Vladeck BC. Effects of race and income on mortality and use of services among Medicare beneficiaries. N Engl J Med. 1996 Sep 12;335(11):791-799.
Lillie-Blanton M, Brodie M, Rowland D, Altman D, McIntosh M. Race, Ethnicity, and the Health Care System: Public Perceptions and Experiences. Med Care Res Rev. 2000;57 Suppl. 1:218-235.
Oliver, NM et al. Time use in clinical encounters: are african-american patients treated differently? Journal of the National Medical Association. 2001;93(10):380-38.
Petersen, Laura A. Racial Differences in Trust: Reaping What We Have Sown? Medical Care. 2002;40(2):81-84.
Schneider EC, Cleary PC, Zaslavsky AM, Epstein AM. Racial disparity in influenza vaccination: does managed care narrow the gap between African Americans and whites? JAMA. 2001;286:1455-1460.
Schneider EC, Zaslavsky AM, Epstein AM. Racial Disparities in the Quality of Care for Enrollees in Medicare Managed Care. JAMA. 2002;287:1288-1294.
Thomas, SB. The color line: race matters in the elimination of health disparities. American Journal of Public Health. 2001; 91(7): 1046-1048.
Williams, DR. et al. Racial residential segregation: a fundamental cause of racial disparities in health. Public Health Reports. 2001; 116: 404-416.
Wong, Mitchell D. et al. Contribution of Major Disease to Disparities in Mortality.
New England Journal of Medicine. 2002; 347(20): 1585-1592.