Iatrogenesis and harm in covid-19—when medical care ignores social forces, by Seth Holmes and colleagues
Seth Holmes (Medical anthropology, Paoli Calmettes Institute/IMéRA fellow 2020/2021) and colleagues, Angela Jenks (University of California Irvine), Helena Hansen (Center for Social Medicine at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine), Scott D Stonington (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), published on the BMJ Opinion Blog a short article on COVID and social inequities .
When we fail to recognise the systematically unequal social forces that drive the spread of disease, it can lead to harm, say Seth Holmes and colleagues
Covid-19 is at once a pandemic caused by an infectious and potentially deadly virus and also a syndemic at the nexus of important biological and social problems. We’ve seen a considerable amount of media coverage focused on how covid-19 exposes the stark inequalities within societies and across the world: we know that your odds of being infected by SARS-CoV-2 and having severe and deadly disease is shaped by social forces. Yet this awareness of the social dimensions of health is not just an important supplement to the core work of medicine. Rather, the covid-19 pandemic reminds us that ignoring social forces can lead us to commit misdiagnosis, mistreatment, and harm.
Seth HOLMES is Associate Professor and Chair, Medical Anthropology, Society and Environment / University of California Berkeley – Holder of the Paoli Calmettes Institute/IMéRA Chair in Integrated Cancerology (sept 2020 – Juillet 2021). His research topic at IMéRA is « Training for Unequal Care: Medical Students, Social Inequalities and the Clinical Gaze ».
- More about Seth Holmes :
Because They’re Closer to the Ground: Migrant Farmworkers, Health Care, and the Invisibilization of Inequalities, by Seth Holmes