Joint GI Society Statement: Racism, social injustice and our pledge to lead change

Dear Colleagues,

The United States is experiencing the tragic consequences of racism. As healthcare providers, we have dedicated our lives to caring for our fellow human beings.  Therefore, we are compelled to speak out against any treatment that results in unacceptable disparities that marginalize the vulnerable among us. As leaders of the four GI societies, AASLD, ACG, AGA, and ASGE, we stand united in condemning racism, bigotry and discrimination based on race, religion, gender, country of origin and sexual orientation.

There is also a deeper pain that racism, coupled with the coronavirus pandemic, has revealed. COVID-19 has disproportionately harmed the health of many underserved communities.  We realize, as a profession, that we need to better understand the effects of structural racism on health inequities.  With this in mind, we pledge to continue to advocate for diversity in our staff and governance, grant awards to research health care disparities, ensure quality care for all, and work tirelessly to reduce inequalities in health care delivery and access.

The reaffirmation of our shared values is more important now than ever before, as we strive for equity together.

About Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures allow the gastroenterologist to visually inspect the upper gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach and duodenum) and the lower bowel (colon and rectum) through an endoscope, a thin, flexible device with a lighted end and a powerful lens system. Endoscopy has been a major advance in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. For example, the use of endoscopes allows the detection of ulcers, cancers, polyps and sites of internal bleeding. Through endoscopy, tissue samples (biopsies) may be obtained, areas of blockage can be opened and active bleeding can be stopped. Polyps in the colon can be removed, which has been shown to prevent colon cancer.

About the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Since its founding in 1941, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) has been dedicated to advancing patient care and digestive health by promoting excellence and innovation in gastrointestinal endoscopy. ASGE, with more than 15,000 members worldwide, promotes the highest standards for endoscopic training and practice, fosters endoscopic research, recognizes distinguished contributions to endoscopy, and is the foremost resource for endoscopic education. Visit www.asge.org and www.screen4coloncancer.org for more information and to find a qualified doctor in your area.

https://www.asge.org/home/about-asge/newsroom/news-list/2020/06/02/joint-gi-society-statement-racism-social-injustice-and-our-pledge-to-lead-change