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Mohammad Usman '13

Urban Policy and Conflict Studies majors; Religious Studies minor; New York City, NY

On the Ethics of Access to Quality Healthcare:

“We live in a technologically advanced society, which has made enormous strides in improving public health.  Yet, despite our progress with development of life-saving drugs and sophisticated medical procedures, access to quality healthcare remains stubbornly elusive for the economically poor.  This ethically troubling contrast can be seen in major cities across our nation, where world-class medical centers are juxtaposed with communities in which diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and other chronic ailments are rife.  Such areas are overwhelmingly composed of racial and ethnic minorities—mainly black and/or Latino.  Research into epidemiological patterns also confirms that members of minority groups are generally more likely to suffer from a chronic disease, live a shorter life, and are less likely to have access to quality nutrition and healthcare.  These circumstances are not the result of biological predisposition, but rather are consequences of broader economic and social inequity.  Thus, as a society we are morally obligated to confront this imbalance in access to quality healthcare – and we must be resolved to find solutions.” 

Mohammad Usman is a senior Urban Policy and Conflict Studies double major with a minor in Religious Studies.  Prior to attending DePauw, Mohammad served as an advocate for access to civil legal justice at the City University of New York School of Law and founded a student newspaper, The Sycamore at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.  At DePauw, Mohammad has combined his interests in public policy, economics, and urban studies into his interdisciplinary major of Urban Policy.  During Winter Term 2011, Mohammad studied multiculturalism and globalization in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Outside of academics, Mohammad is a member of DePauw’s nationally acclaimed Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl team and is a trained Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).