Last updated: February 2022
From the lens of social justice, it is made even more clear recently where we have inequities in our society. Due to recent events such as the coronavirus pandemic, it is painfully obvious that access to healthcare is one area where there exists some of the greatest challenges now and going forward. Political? It shouldn’t be. In my view, it comes down to simple things like morality and justice.
When I think of the words “...and justice for all” I am left wondering just how we can say those words and mean them, when we see society-wide breakdowns. If those words are only to have meaning in a legal way, that is not how I see it, despite many instances where there are huge gaps in how fair or equitable the law applies.
Most modern democratic societies have some form of a bill of rights and a constitution that spells out these things, and there are changes in time that seek to address changing societal norms and the will of their citizens as it relates to these issues and others. These are mostly very high-level documents that address what has become in some measure; aspirational. I think, for the most part, we all have this basic belief in fairness and the concept of “justice for all”, but we still fall short on the how as a society. Personally, this is a question I have myself struggled with for a good part of my adult life- asking myself where I can make a difference.
Hep C stigma
Enough about me, because it isn’t. It is about people who have been affected by hep C and marginalized by their hep C status, but not only that. One significant segment of people who are affected by hep C are people who continue to need our attention and support by those of us in a position to affect change. People who are dealing with homelessness, access to safe substances as part of a dependency of any kind, food security, and of course, access to regular quality health care need our help now even more than ever. That is not to say that there has ever been a less important time to do what we can to address the issues around health equity, but here are some glaringly and more obvious disparities now because of the recent pandemic and that only reinforces the argument that we need to do more.
What can we do?
One way is to speak out in support of policies that improve health equity. Add your voice to those who now have a voice in the communities that are affected. Add your hand where you can and if you can. If you are one of the many who are affected by the issues, you too can add your voice where and when you can. Join others in your community who share in the belief that health inequity must end. Poverty, color, drug use, or any other reason is not an acceptable reason to have none, or poor access to the things that many others take for granted in a civil society that says they value justice.