Publication Date

April 2015

Advisor(s)

Anna Geltzer

Major

Science in Society

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

Medicine is an appealing framework to apply to humanitarian crises. Surgeries and medications provide immediacy and scientific legitimacy, while the prospect of "saving lives" offers moral clarity. Through case studies focusing on particular biomedical interventions, HIV/AIDS in Uganda, the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, I argue that in practice the seemingly unobjectionable biomedical model (exemplified by Doctors Without Borders) is often an inadequate solution to larger social, political, or infrastructural deficits.

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