Source: Nworeport

The document indicates that language “commonly used” ought to be replaced with words inspired by “critical race theory … gender studies, disability studies, as well as scholarship from social medicine.”

“Narratives that uncritically center meritocracy and individualism render invisible the very real constraints generated and reinforced by poverty, discrimination and ultimately exclusion,” the document states.

“Yet a rich tradition of work in health equity and related fields, including critical race theory (defined in the glossary), gender studies, disability studies,

as well as scholarship from social medicine, gives us a foundation for an alternative narrative, one that challenges the status quo, one that moves health care towards justice.”

The glossary provides an overview of key terms and concepts that are frequently utilized in health equity discussions. It is by no means exhaustive, nor is it a definitive list of correct/incorrect answers. Instead, it is meant to serve as an opening point for reflection. It is a guide on “the current” usage of important terms and will be updated over time. Whenever possible, we cite authoritative sources and introduce ongoing debates over definitions.

While the 54-page document reads that it aims to “notice and question dominant narratives,” it then continues to offer a glossary of terms as to what a “commonly used” word — used by doctors — should be replaced with, like the “equity-focused alternative” terms spanning the length of the document.

A few “suggestions for equity-focused communication” include changing social problems to “social injustice,” vulnerable to “oppressed,” and slave to “enslaved person.”

In technology applications, master and slave become “active/standby,” “writer/reader,” and “leader/follower.”

Caucasian will be changed to “white,” and black will be changed to “Black.”

An able-bodied person is a term, according to the guideline, applied to “describe someone who does not identify as having a disability. Some members of the disability community oppose its use because it implies that all people with disabilities lack ‘able bodies’ or the ability to use their bodies well. They may prefer ‘non-disabled’ or ‘enabled’ as being more accurate.”

In May, AMA President Gerald Harmon published a statement describing how the medical association was preparing to release such a document, including the “alternative” language set for this year.

“I am fully committed to this cause, its purpose, and the work ahead. We are called to this moment. I invite you to join us as we march toward a more just, equitable and healthy future for all,” Harmon announced.