This paper provides a review of Dayna Bowen Matthew’s book, Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Health Care (Matthew, 2015). The main purpose of this book is to explore the origins and causes of racial disparity in healthcare, and suggest specific measure that could be taken to eradicate those disparities. Three major themes of the book are implicit bias, health disparities, and civil rights and constitutional law. By focusing on these three areas, Matthew not only reveals a crucial weakness in the current provision of medical care in America, but also provides concrete suggestions for how changes to health policy development and implementation could have a wide-reaching positive effect. Unique to this particular collection is the content which focuses on the unconscious racism that remains a problem in the American Health system: specific research and case studies provide raw data to support this content, while Matthew’s background in law provides a sociological and political perspective on the health-care focused material. By combining health-care research with legal and sociological theory, Matthew is unique in offering a comprehensive investigation of this particular health-care problem. This book is therefore of crucial importance to my own research, practice, education, and policy promulgation, in that it provides concrete suggestions for theory-based practice aimed at eradicating health-care disparities and applying policy to the solution of the persistent issue of racial discrimination within health-care. However, this book is not only of vital importance to those working within health-care and nursing: Matthew’s sociological and legal perspective make it of equal value to those working in politics, sociological research concerning racial discrimination, and public policy and law, as well as providing valuable insights to those in the fields of neuroscience and psychology. Researchers and policy makers in these areas would gain insight from the integrated approach that Matthew adopts, indicating how these fields need to work together to solve issues of discrimination. Overall, Matthew’s book is a comprehensive investigation of the problem of health-care disparity, as well as a unique perspective on the social causes, impact, and solutions to this problem.
- Matthew, D. B. (2015). Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Health Care. New York: New York University Press.