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Health Promot Pract. 2010 Jul;11(4):454-64. doi: 10.1177/1524839910375612.

The health disparities industry: is it an ethical conundrum?

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Center for the Study of Health Disparities, Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA.


Reducing health disparities is the purported mission of a huge network of professionals representing many specialties and organizations offering a variety of products and services. Given its elaborate infrastructure and specialized set of activities, we identity the network as the health disparities industry. In this article, we question the ethics of this industry. Specifically, we ask whether the public mission is trumped by questionable industry leadership, ethics, and quality assurances. Drawing on general principles of ethics and differentiating ethical concerns from ethical problems, we conclude that the collective behaviors within the industry may represent an ethical conundrum. The article concludes with a call for the cross-examination of the industry practices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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