The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.
If access to health care is considered a human right, who is considered human enough to have that right?
For me, an area of moral clarity is: you're in front of someone who's suffering and you have the tools at your disposal to alleviate that suffering or even eradicate it, and you act.
God gives us humans everything we need to flourish, but he's not the one who's supposed to divvy up the loot. You want to see where Christ crucified abides today? Go to where the poor are suffering and fighting back, and that's where He is.
With rare exceptions, all of your most important achievements on this planet will come from working with others- or, in a word, partnership.
The essence of global health equity is the idea that something so precious as health might be viewed as a right.
If I am hungry, that is a material problem; if someone else is hungry, that is a spiritual problem.
The poorest parts of the world are by and large the places in which one can best view the worst of medicine and not because doctors in these countries have different ideas about what constitutes modern medicine. It's the system and its limitations that are to blame.
But if you're asking my opinion, I would argue that a social justice approach should be central to medicine and utilized to be central to public health. This could be very simple: the well should take care of the sick.
What I can argue is that no one should have to die of a disease that is treatable.
We have to design a health delivery system by actually talking to people and asking, 'What would make this service better for you?' As soon as you start asking, you get a flood of answers.
The only way to do the human rights thing is to do the right thing medically.
You can't have public health without a public health system. We just don't want to be part of a mindless competition for resources. We want to build back capacity in the system.
It is very expensive to give bad medical care to poor people in a rich country.
The idea that because you're born in Haiti you could die having a child. The idea that because you're born in you know Malawi your children may go to bed hungry. We want to take some of the chance out of that.
That's when I feel most alive, when I'm helping people.
Equity is the only acceptable goal
There is nothing wrong with underlining personal agency, but there is something unfair about using personal responsibility as a basis for assigning blame while simultaneously denying those who are being blamed the opportunity to exert agency in their lives
People call me a saint and I think, I have to work harder. Because a saint would be a great thing to be.
We want to be on the winning team, but at the risk of turning our backs on the losers, no, it is not worth it. So we fight the long defeat.
I can't sleep. There's always somebody not getting treatment. I can't stand that.
The biggest public health challenge is rebuilding health systems. In other words, if you look at cholera or maternal mortality or tuberculosis in Haiti, they're major problems in Haiti, but the biggest problem is rebuilding systems.
...In a world riven by inequity, medicine could be viewed as social justice work.
We've taken on the major health problems of the poorest - tuberculosis, maternal mortality, AIDS, malaria - in four countries. We've scored some victories in the sense that we've cured or treated thousands and changed the discourse about what is possible.
Anywhere you have extreme poverty and no national health insurance, no promise of health care regardless of social standing, that's where you see the sharp limitations of market-based health care.
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