- From Our Journals
Justice and Domestic Health Research
ABSTRACT: The pandemic has spurred research into testing, prevention, and treatment of Covid-19 infection and renewed attention to some familiar research ethics issues. But it has also exposed a vital and substantially neglected area of research: addressing health disparities that arise from structural and socioeconomic inequities. In the United States, the pandemic has highlighted the heightened vulnerability of low-income communities of color to Covid-19 infection, morbidity, and mortality. In 2005, Alex London noted that “perhaps the most important determinant of health within a community is the extent to which its basic social structures guarantee members of the community opportunities for education, access to productive employment, control over their person and their personal environment, access to the political process, and the protection of their basic human rights”; he argued that research should focus on the basic health needs and priorities of communities affected by health inequities. London’s arguments address international health research, but undeniably also apply here at home. Morally meaningful health research should prioritize reducing health disparities in the many communities lacking opportunities that should be guaranteed.