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Books, Journals, New Media
August 4, 2004

Poverty, Rights

Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(5):631-632. doi:10.1001/jama.292.5.631

In any society with an unmet serious need, someone will insist on acting charitably. Paul Farmer, physician and anthropologist and author of Pathologies of Power, is such a person. In any society in which serious needs persistently exhaust families and friends, someone acting charitably will insist that others, even distant others, join in. Paul Farmer again, most assuredly, is such a person, not only in his principal society—the one opened to him through Harvard Medical School's Department of Social Medicine—but wherever he or his group, Partners in Health, works: Haiti's dry central highlands, Mexico's seething Chiapas province, Guatemala's mass-murder grave lands, Peru's choleraic shanty towns, Russia's tubercular prisons.