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Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Mar;111(3):747-51. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e318165f1a9.

Social factors affecting treatment of cervical cancer: ethical issues and policy implications.

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  • 1Department of Gynecologic Oncology, the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Health care in the United States has become a privilege rather than a right. Patients who have the greatest need are the ones most likely to be denied this privilege. Despite recent advances in disease detection and treatment, many patients do not receive even the bare minimum of care. The high complexity of the health care system in the setting of patients with low levels of health literacy significantly affects the ability to seek and receive treatment in a timely fashion. In addition, lack of insurance, transportation, and social support further complicate access to care. To truly provide a standard of care to all patients, regardless of resources, our health care system must evolve to address the needs of the population. In this paper, we report a tragic case where social factors affected the outcome of a single mother with advanced cervical cancer.

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