Bioethics & Human Rights.

Posted: November 13, 2012 in pOstEd WeEkLY

“Beyond the administrative borders erected around catchment areas or states or nations, millions die – not from too much  are or inappropriate care but rather from no care at all.”

“When the end of life comes early – from death in childbirth, say, or from tuberculosis or infantile diarrhea – the scandal is immeasurably greater, but these tragedies meet with far too little discussion in the medical and bioethics literature.”

Above are two quotes I chose from Paul Farmer and Nicole Campos’ work on New Malaise: Bioethics and Human Rights. First, lets ask the simple question, what is bioethics? Many of us are familiar with the term ethics, but bioethics? Simply put,  bioethics is the ethics of medical and biological research. Using such a term we are able to tie into the focus of the Philippines with research on poverty and health problems faced by women and children within the biomedical sphere.

In previous posts I have discussed water rights in the Philippines as well as Poverty, AIDS/HIV, and health care for women.  I would like to use this post to begin entertaining a new approach to my overarching topic of Female Sex Workers and Health in the Philippines.

In one of the first readings/posts, Paul Farmer introduces the ground breaking and anthropologically purposeful term Structural Violence. His meaning behind structural violence is on an individualistic level looking at and interpreting structural causes of indirect violence through war, poverty, health, etc. Utilizing the bioethical approach to seep into the overall structural violence against FSW a more medical means can be understood in assessing the overall social structure encompassing FSW and the high rates of AIDS/HIV in the Philippines.

Farmer, Paul and Nicole Gastineau Campos. 2004. “New Malaise: Bioethics and Human Rights in the Global Era.” The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. Vol 32.2, pp 243–251


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