The Duke Medical Ethics Journal (DMEJ) was created in 2019 by a team of students who recognized the importance, and lack, of ethics education in their pre-medical undergraduate curriculum. DMEJ’s goal is to change that by sparking conversation on Duke’s campus and beyond so that we might move past the notion that medicine as a field is a black and white science.
Every semester since the DMEJ was started in Fall 2019, we’ve put together an issue of articles (with graphics!) and blogs that focus on medical ethics issues tied to a specific theme. Past themes have included Patient Power, Challenges of the COVID-19 Crisis: Complications, Containment Concerns, and Health & Identity: Who We Are and the Care We Receive.
The Spring 2021 issue tackles the topic of Health and Identity. “We are all a product of our culture and our values,” write DMEJ Spring 2021 co-presidents Priya Meesa and Sibani Ram. “Healthcare at its deepest level is not just about the biomedical model but it’s also about care, care for the culture and values that permeate the lives of its practitioners and patients.”
By highlighting stories of marginalized identities and considering how identity influences health, the journal hopes to advance this empathic model of care and improve outcomes for all. In this issue, you will find pieces touching on a variety of topics related to identity in healthcare, ranging from narrative medicine to supporting children with disabilities.
“Despite all the uniquely challenging and unforgiving times of the COVID-19 pandemic, DMEJ has been the most rewarding part of my college experience as I am so deeply convinced that medical ethics has a transformative power — power to transform ourselves and the power to transform the structures through which we experience healthcare,” said Sibani Ram, co-President of DMEJ.
As the movement for social justice and health equity is rapidly growing, it is especially important to consider how identity directly influences health. To truly care for those around us, we must take the time to consider how background determinants and characteristics influence healthcare.
To learn more about DMEJ, read edition of the journal, or join the organization, visit: dukemedicalethicsjournal.com