Paul Farmer

(Paul Edward Farmer)

Paul Farmer
Paul Farmer
  • Born: October 26, 1959
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Educator

51

Quotes

7

Citations

51

Concepts

0

Videos

Paul Edward Farmer is an American medical anthropologist and physician. Dr. Farmer holds an MD and PhD from Harvard University, where he is the Kolokotrones University Professor and the chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is co-founder and chief strategist of Partners in Health (PIH), an international non-profit organization that since 1987 has provided direct health care services and undertaken research and advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty. He is professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Additionally, Dr. Farmer serves as the United Nations Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Community Based Medicine and Lessons from Haiti.

Quotes About
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Quotes
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… poor people deserve access to food, education, housing, and medical services Poverty
Clean water and health care and school and food and tin roofs and cement floor, all of these things should constitute a set of basics that people must have as birthrights. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
In doing their work, they [NGOs -- Non-governmental organizations] often end up undermining the government. They hire away its best people, and more fundamentally, their prominence teaches citizens to look to them for service rather than to pressure the government to provide them. This tension between wanting to replace an ineffective state and trying not to undermine it further is a common one faced by outside actors… Foreign Aid ;States. Nations & Nationhood
Only a social movement involving millions, most of us living far from these difficult settings, could allow us to change the course of history….troves of attention are required to reconfigure existing arrangements if we are to slow the steady movement of resources from poor to rich—transfers that have always been associated… with violence and epidemic disease… whether or not we can say “never again” with any conviction—will depend on our collective courage to examine and understand the roots of modern violence and the violation of a broad array of rights, including social and economic rights. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Technological innovations [in public health] that come from basic science have to be transformed from discovery to delivery, and that gap is huge. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
We need an equity plan for technology in general. Equality & Equal Opportunity ;Foreign Aid
You can’t do public health in a war zone. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
Again, conventional Catholicism does not much appeal to me.
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. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
At the same time, it is obvious that clinicians in Haiti are faced with different, and, in fact, greater, challenges when attempting to treat complications of HIV disease. Time
But as for activism, my parents did what they could, given the constraints, but were never involved in the causes I think of when I think of activists.
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. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
Civil and political rights are critical, but not often the real problem for the destitute sick. My patients in Haiti can now vote but they can't get medical care or clean water. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
Everybody should be interested in access to primary and secondary education for everybody. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
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.
Haiti is always talking about decentralization and nothing has been so obvious, perhaps a weakness, as the centralized nature of Haitian society as being revealed by the earthquake. I mean, they lost all these medical training programs because they didn't have them anywhere else. Society ;Nature ;Health, Healthcare & Medicine
I can't think of a better model for Haiti rebuilding than Rwanda.
I critique market-based medicine not because I haven't seen its heights but because I've seen its depths.
I don't know much about climate change. But I'm pretty sure we better figure out what to do to lessen its impact - at least its health impact - and that's not going to happen unless you have a lot of young talent interested in these topics. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
I feel it's part of my job to make the problems of the poor compelling.
I mean we grew up in a TB bus and I became a TB doctor.
I mean, everybody should have access to medical care. And, you know, it shouldn't be such a big deal. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
I recommend the same therapies for all humans with HIV. There is no reason to believe that physiologic responses to therapy will vary across lines of class, culture, race or nationality.
I think that looking forward it's easy to imagine more constructive help for Haiti.
I think we will see better vaccines within the next 15 years, but I'm not a scientist and am focused on the short-term - what will happen in the interim.
I would say that, intellectually, Catholicism had no more impact on me than did social theory.
If any country was a mine-shaft canary for the reintroduction of cholera, it was Haiti - and we knew it. And in retrospect, more should have been done to prepare for cholera... which can spread like wildfire in Haiti... This was a big rebuke to all of us working in public health and health care in Haiti. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
If you look at people who seek a lot of care in American cities for multiple illnesses, it's usually people with a number of overwhelming illnesses and a lot of social problems, like housing instability, unemployment, lack of insurance, lack of housing, or just bad housing.
If you look just at the decades after 1934, you know it's hard to point to really inspired and positive support from outside of Haiti, to Haiti, and much easier to point to either small-minded or downright mean-spirited policies.
I'm not an austere person.
I'm one of six kids, and the eight of us lived for over a decade in either a bus or a boat.
In fact, it seems to me that making strategic alliances across national borders in order to treat HIV among the world's poor is one of the last great hopes of solidarity across a widening divide.
It is clear that the pharmaceutical industry is not, by any stretch of the imagination, doing enough to ensure that the poor have access to adequate medical care. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
I've been impressed, over the last 15 years, with how often the somewhat conspiratorial comments of Haitian villagers have been proven to be correct when the historical record is probed carefully.
I've been working in Haiti 28 years - I thought I'd sort of seen it... I've gone through a number of coups, the storms of 2008, I thought, you know, that I'd seen things as bad as they were going to get, and I was wrong.
One of the things we have to acknowledge is that if you look at Haiti, many billions of dollars have gone into development aid there that have not been effective.
Since I do not believe that there should be different recommendations for people living in the Bronx and people living in Manhattan, I am uncomfortable making different recommendations for my patients in Boston and in Haiti.
So I can't show you how, exactly, health care is a basic human right. But what I can argue is that no one should have to die of a disease that is treatable. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
Some people talk about Haiti as being the graveyard of development projects.
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. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
The essence of global health equity is the idea that something so precious as health might be viewed as a right. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
The human rights community has focused very narrowly on political and civil rights for many decades, and with reason, but now we have to ask how can we broaden the view.
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.
The only way to do the human rights thing is to do the right thing medically.
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.
The thing about rights is that in the end you can't prove what should be considered a right.
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. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
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. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
What the American public thinks is very important to the future of global health. Many people are moved by the idea that there is unnecessary suffering in the world, and we could do a lot to stop it. We have the technologies necessary to stop most of the suffering. Future ;Health, Healthcare & Medicine
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. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
You can't have public health without working with the public sector. You can't have public education without working with the public sector in education. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Health, Healthcare & Medicine