I am not to sure about the legitimacy of the study mentioned in this CNN Blog article but I thought it made several points that were worthy of discussion. The study in question suggests that regardless of the race of a victim, individuals in low-income minority neighborhoods are less likely to assist an individual who supposedly collapses of Cardiac Arrest and requires CPR.
If this is accurate, what is the reason behind this? The physician who conducted the study suggests several reason:
1. Lack of education
2. Safety concerns
3. Health concerns
4. Fear of legal action
5. Fear of victimization
It is likely that if true the ‘reason’ behind this difference is an interplay of the above reasons. Each holds weight as a possible reality and together form the framework which determines almost all of our decisions: Knowledge, Income, and Fear. These three would indeed prevent someone with lower income, less education and who has experienced victimization from rushing to help someone else. I fear however, that research such as this may caste a negative light on these communities. Could they be viewed as uncaring rather than reacting to their experiences?
Regardless of the reason, if true, this is another example of a socioeconomic health disparity that needs fixing. Unfortunately, I do not agree that simple education will fix problems such as this. There is more at play at a social level than just failed access to education. Education is worth nothing if we are held back by fear.
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