Announcement by Cristina Hanganu-Bresch
This year’s theme for Medical Humanities-BMJ is access to health care: how does accessibility as a facet of social justice impact how people manage and make sense of their health? Access to medical services can mean many things—from insurance coverage, to social services that make medical care possible, to outright discrimination for disadvantaged groups. “Access” in medicine is a complex concept that has been explored extensively in health policy and medical journals; here at Medical Humanities we are interested in the centrality of the human grappling with any aspect of accessibility in the context of healthcare. As Medical Humanities Editor-in-Chief Brandy Schillace put it in this year’s introductory video, “Access is often a privilege when it should be a right.” Thus, we would like to emphasize work discussing access as a moral imperative, underpinned by fundamental human rights, that is so easily obscured when policy, economics, and social inequality/unresolved societal tensions intersect.We extend an invitation to scholars working on themes of access to submit blog posts that address this issue in the context of medical humanities. In particular, we would like to propose the following micro-themes running throughout the year, and we invite you to consider them as factors in access to health care:
- LGBTQIA issues (especially for issues of healthcare access for LGBTQIA youth, but not only)
- Language & health literacy (e.g., immigrants’ access to health care in their native tongue, medical interpretation, general health literacy—e.g., knowledge of basic preventative medicine concepts such as frequency of vaccines and health screenings, etc.)
- Disability (physical and intellectual disability, including neurodiversity; e.g., designing inclusive and easily accessible healthcare for people with disabilities)
If you have work in progress on the theme of access to healthcare in general or on any of these themes in particular, have ideas that are best suited to blog commentary than to a full length article, or have read or experienced something on the topic of access that deserves more in-depth commentary, consider submitting a blog post as a way to generate a fruitful discussion on this topic, and also as a preliminary introduction to your work for the public.Blog posts should be roughly 800 words and ideally accompanied by an illustration; they should be submitted via our portal and will undergo editorial review. We accept submissions on a rolling basis.We welcome your inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org (blog content editor) email@example.com (Medical Humanities editor).