According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 46 million, or 15% of all Americans live in rural areas. And, as more attention is given to meeting the health needs of this population, a significant gap in health between rural and urban Americans has emerged.
Rural Americans are more likely to die from heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, chronic respiratory disease, and stroke than their urban counterparts. Unintentional injury deaths are approximately 50 percent higher in rural areas, partly due to greater risk of death from motor vehicle crashes and opioid overdoses.
These challenges underscore the important role that critical access hospitals play in helping to address these disparities. But what are the ethical considerations that should be looked at when caring for rural communities? In this episode, our guests offer their perspective and expertise on this important topic.
Our guests in this episode include:
- Mary Homan, Southwest Division Vice President of Theology and Ethics for CommonSpirit Health.
- Leslie Kuhnel, Midwest Division Vice President of Theology and Ethics for CommonSpirit Health.
- Jason Lesandrini, Assistant Vice President, Ethics, Advance Care Planning and Spiritual Health, WellStar Health System.
Additional resources relating to or referenced in this episode:
- A New Portrait of Rural America
- Health in Rural America
- Handbook for Rural Health Care Ethics: A Practical Guide for Professionals
- Where the Rubber Hits the Road: Implications for Organizational and Clinical Ethics in Rural Healthcare Settings
- Recognizing and Resolving Ethical Dilemmas in Rural Medicine