On Campus

A human rights view of health care

“What is the cost of not doing the right thing?” Paul Farmer, M.D., Ph.D., asked in March during a talk sponsored by the Diversity Action Committee at the School of Nursing. With that question he challenged the cost-benefit analysis that underpins most global health projects.In Haiti, where he has spent most of his career, no patient, he said, has ever told him, “Thank you very much for offering me this therapy, but it’s really not cost-effective here.”In 1987 Farmer co-founded Partners In Health (PIH), which is dedicated to improving health care in poor countries. PIH’s low-cost projects have achieved impressive outcomes in settings where...

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Cautious excitement about a “living cancer reagent”

The patient was a 57-year-old radiologist with advanced melanoma. The treatment was experimental—it...

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Art and plague in the Middle Ages

When the plague reached Europe in 1348 it was seen as a divine punishment. How else to explain a...

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Striving not to narrow, but to eliminate, racial disparities

For years health statistics have revealed a grim dichotomy—members of racial and ethnic minority...

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