Health and Human Rights


Chapter nine, of Paul Farmer’s Pathologies of Power deals with health and human rights. The chapter really digs deep into health rights, buy giving many different examples from Haiti, Russia, Chiapas and analyzing it at the local, government, and international level. I used to think that crimes would occur because there were no treaties or policies to stop the exploitation of people. If the laws that prohibit the treatment of, for example, women in Mexico already exist, the real question is what can we really do to make the countries follow the laws and policies. What can we really do to force countries to follow them? Like Paul Farmer mentioned, the U.S. is one of the countries that really pushes for capital punishment yet it does not support the implementation of the International Criminal Court (Pg. 243).

There’s a connection between health and human rights and genocide. If people are not deemed worthy enough to be given health care—such as the Russian prisoners, or not be seen as humans to have any human rights—such as experimentation practices on political prisoners in North Korea), then a dehumanization process occurs, and that dehumanization process can easily turn into genocide or even gendercide.


Article on gendercide (modern day slavery of women):


3 responses

  1. Totally. If people are seen as subhuman, they will easily be treated inhumanely and will not be protected by rights that protect the life of all human beings. It is about treating someone as an equal, and genuinely caring about their individual suffering.

    March 15, 2012 at 6:12 am

  2. Very well stated! I felt that this last Paul Farmer reading was a very good way to end the class. And wow, I’ve never even thought of health crises like TB in Russian prisons as “gendercides” nor have I ever heard that term used officially… so that was interesting!

    March 15, 2012 at 6:28 pm

  3. I agree with you about how there needs to be some kind of conviction of court that addresses theses human rights violations and not only for big dictators and popular leaders. There has to be a system where governments can be aided or punished if they are not attempting to spread healthcare/awarness to all its people.

    The article you attached on slave trade being a form on genocide on women really opened my eyes. You often forget that women are so vulnerable to being kidnapped and forced into the slave trade.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm

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