Custom «LGBT Health Disparities» Essay Paper Sample
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The world supports a wide variety of lives, which interact throughout the ecosystem for survival. The human being, in particular, is a social being that is sensitive to social variation. Human beings always seek social purity and may go to any extent in trying to achieve this status. However, in some cases, the purity that human beings seek is unrealizable without mistakes. In the case of LGBT individuals and their health problems, one cannot expect that any group whether a majority or minority can be ignored for the sake of maintaining social purity. Moreover, LGBTs continue to be born and their existence cannot be abolished whatsoever. In this regard, the society has to learn to live with these people amicably and share resources with them as they do with other minority groups. The failure to attend to the health issues of LGBTs results to unpleasant ethical issues that may never be solved as long as LGBTs exist. Therefore, alternative strategies for dealing with the LGBTs’ health issues must be formulated.
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LGBT is an aesthetic term used to refer to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the society. This term is used to collectively refer to these people since they face similar social challenges in the American society. Although it is not incontrovertibly true that their condition is their making, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders, continue to receive partial treatment by the society (Meyer & Northridge, 2007). In this regard, LGBTs are classified as abnormal. Any person who belongs to either one of these groups is considered weird. Normal people have a heterosexual orientation. In both the public and private sector, the negative attitude towards LGBTs by the majority of people hinders the concerned institution from offering them proper and equitable health services. Derogatory references such as “queer” and “not straight” have heightened the stigma associated with these people. The lack of equal opportunities for the LGBT community makes the attainment of progress in their lives significantly difficult (Ritter & Hoffman, 2010). The persistent partial treatment of LGBTs in the health care system has gradually created a deeply embedded problem of poor health among these groups. Poor health affects all the other aspects of the human life. This makes LGBTs to lag behind in terms of social, political and economic development (Mooney et al, 2009).
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The society has an ethical background that classifies the LGBT people as outcasts. To implement any kind of reforms in a manner that seems to take the plight of the LGBT people into consideration is likely to cause an ethical debate. If we follow the concept of majority rule, the LGBT people will have no rights in the society, and will be lesser human beings. It is true that trying to help the LGBT people live a normal and quality life has serious ethical implications since it seems like posting an argument to the society that the nature of these LGBT people is a desirable trait. In addition, the advocates of a homogenous heterosexual society who are the vast majority may see it as a reversed order of priorities.
The other side of the argument castigates the partial treatment of the LGBT people. One can argue that delineating the LGBT people in offering of public services amounts to propagation of fascist policies that advocate for overt purity, where every person in the society must act like the majority does. However, a neutral point can be achieved by resolving to treat all kind of people with equal dedication when offering any public service. This strategy may not cure the ethical dilemma, but it will ensure that ethical arguments that do not have an immediate amicable solution do not interfere with sharing of public health services.
Causes of discrimination
Although LGBT is a creation of nature itself, the American society has never accepted LGBTs as equal members of the society. The only natural scenario is that all people are heterosexual. The authorities are one of the major impediments to the eradication of discrimination against LGBTs since the government has never decisively acknowledged the legality leave alone instituting measures to protect people of this nature. The government has not yet endorsed LGBTs as equal citizens of the American nation (Barclay et al, 2009). Another major contributing factor to these disparities is the social tradition that encourages the abhorrence of the LGBT individuals. Their sexual orientations are viewed as pervasive and a disgrace to the society. In addition, the religious values of most of the Americans with religious affiliation strongly advise having any other sexual orientation apart from heterosexual. While it is significantly difficult to change the sexual orientation of an individual, it is relatively easy to convince the public service institutions, particularly the healthcare institutions, to treat the LGBTs with fairness in order to eliminate disparities in the health care sector (Barclay, 2009).
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Impediments to Reform
The efforts by the LGBTs to clamor for their rights are muted by the perpetual stigma associated with any form of allegiance to this category of sexual orientation. Heterosexism and the prevailing prejudice in the American society have kept the LGBT issue a hidden entity. In addition, laws regarding the acceptable sexualities seem to discriminate against LGBTs. Although the law and policies do not outlaw any sexual orientation, they solely seem to recognize the existence of the heterosexual orientation (Barclay, 2009). Furthermore, the health systems in place are modeled to serve the heterosexual people alone.
Due to the stigmatized nature of the LGBTs, it is difficult to get them to discuss or reveal their health status. The medical history concerning any one person in these groups is difficult to obtain particularly the history pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases and sexuality. This may hinder the administration of appropriate medical care to an LGBT patient. In addition, the chances of misdiagnosis are high due to poor communication because of the tension between the medical personnel and the LGBT patient. Consequently, the patient suffers the terminal effects of unattended health problems. The efforts to inform the LGBTs of their rights and the importance of quality healthcare are unproductive since they are not ready to present themselves before a counselor or any institution offering educative services (Steinberg, 2009).
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Health personnel have enormous difficulties when trying to obtain information from LGBT patients. To alleviate conflict, medical personnel avoid investigating the health details relating to such patient’s sexuality. Moreover, medical personal avoid the consequences of aggravating patients in a bid to administer better medical care. In this regard, the medical personnel cannot educate LGBTs on the management of terminal diseases or offer appropriate therapeutic procedures. In addition, the LGBT patients avoid seeking medical care in the fear that medical personnel may enquire about their sexuality. Furthermore, the patients fear that the attending medics may develop homophobia, which in turn affects the quality of the healthcare offered (Mooney, 2009). Due to the secretive nature of the LGBTs, statistical procedures that enable the government to strategize on the improvement of health among LGBTs are not accurate. This hinders the authorities from implementing appropriate remedial measures to counter this problem. In addition, the government avoids conducting statistical procedures to establish the factual extent of the health problem due to the controversies associated with the LGBTs (Ritter & Hoffman, 2010). Most of the assurance and insurance companies avoid insuring LGBTs and offering them medical coverage. This is due to the stigma and propaganda that the chances of these people leading a healthy life are minimal. However, there is no tangible proof that the health of LGBTs is directly affected by their sexuality (Mooney, 2009).
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Alternative Courses of Action
The LGBT population is as important as the heterosexual population. In this regard, LGBTs are entitled to the same rights and privileges as the heterosexuals. Their contribution in the society is as important that of the heterosexuals. There is a need to focus attention on the LGBT individuals and the problems affecting them especially in healthcare access. The only solution to the poor health condition of the LGBTs is to initiate special measures that address the problem. The continued denial of the existence of an imbalance in healthcare provision will only worsen the situation (Steinberg, 2009).
The government, particularly the legislature, can significantly contribute in mitigating the effects of social stigma in the American population. Laws should be formulated to deal with any form of sexual discrimination in the health sector, particularly with regard to the LGBTs who are the most affected. Policies can be made to ensure that the LGBTs learn about the realities of their sexual orientation and the rights they are entitled to. This will serve to change the perspective from which the LGBT individuals are regard in the community and by themselves (Barclay et al, 2009). Openness will gradually transform the community into accepting the LGBTs as equal members of the society. In this regard, the administration of health services is likely to improve. While educating the LGBTs, the government should formulate dynamic policies that cater for the needs of LGBTs of all cultures and races. This is because LGBTs from different cultures and races have different problems since their cultures view LGBT orientations from different perspectives. In order for LGBT couples to feel comfortable and accepted by the society, they should be given the same social status as heterosexual couples. In addition, policies and laws should be passed to prohibit assurance and insurance companies from sexual discrimination while issuing medical covers.
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Healthcare institutions should formulate policies that govern the administration of health services to the public (Barclay et al, 2009). These must include the recognition of LGBT parents and the rights of children with LGBT guardians. In this regard, the children can enjoy the same social environment as the children with heterosexual parents. Furthermore, this is an extension of the basic rule of nature allowing every being, particularly humans, to procreate. Currently, only a few of the entire American healthcare workers can adequately deal with the health issues concerning LGBT individuals. In order for the medical staff to be able to deal with LGBT patients, they need training to acquaint them with the necessary skill to deal with the LGBT patients. Medical personnel are supposed to have an understanding of the kind of patients they anticipate to encounter when dealing with LGBT individuals (Meyer & Northridge, 2007). This will significantly assist in navigating away from the traditional assumptions and stereotypes about the personalities of the LGBTs. Furthermore, healthcare personnel should be able to distinguish the diverse nature of LGBT individuals from different cultural and racial backgrounds. In general, healthcare institutions are supposed to recognize the presence of several other sexual orientations other than the heterosexuals.
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The level of education determines whether an individual holds health in high or low regard. Educated citizens hold health in high regard and they always seek medical attention when necessary. In this regard, offering LGBTs the same opportunities as heterosexuals in education will increase their level and quality of knowledge. Educated LGBTs will be more informed of their social standing and will seek medical services when necessary thus raising their health status. In addition, the experts in the medical profession should promote research concerning the problems faced by the LGBTs relating to health. In addition, the research should seek to establish the differences among LGBT orientations and evaluate the effectiveness of various approaches used when dealing with their health. Moreover, the medical research should be able to establish the diversity of attitudes associated with the LGBT individuals (Meyer & Northridge, 2007).
Currently, the ignorance of healthcare personnel concerning the details pertaining to LGBTs health is the major cause of disparities in the administration of health care to this group. An informed healthcare personnel composition will improve the response of the LGBT individuals to the services offered. This will contribute significantly in ensuring effective the effective treatment of LGBTs. In addition, it might reduce social stigma and thus improve the tolerance of the LGBT individuals to the social environment. Because of the improved health among the LGBTs, their ability to achieve financial independence and better health care will be enhanced. The discrimination trend is common to all minority groups and therefore the implementation of measures to improve the health for LGBTs may have to consider other minority groups. In this regard, the formulation and implementation of policies should be approached with caution. The implementation of reforms and education among the LGBT individuals might serve to change the society’s conservative ideas that LGBTs are inferior to the heterosexuals. The formulation of policies within health institutions raises the self-esteem of LGBTs since they feel protected just like everyone in the community. In addition, the government laws and policies will promote their social status in the broader society. Policies and laws are an important aspect of governance. Plans and programs are based on these laws and policies. The policies provide guidelines along which the medical personnel are supposed to act. The laws instituted by the legislature give guidelines along which the public is supposed to act in order to enhance the LGBT community’s access to better healthcare (Barclay et al, 2009). In this regard, the laws will have succeeded in protecting the fundamental rights of the citizens regardless of their sexuality. The legalization of LGBT orientation will lead to increased possible sexual orientations from two to multiple possibilities with many variations. The LGBT individuals will no longer consider it pervasive to belong to any sexual class. Consequently, the secretive nature of LGBT people will gradually fade.