Mountains Beyond Mountains - Social Injustice

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Mountains Beyond Mountains Tracy Kidders book, Mountains Beyond Mountains, addresses economic and political issues that pertain to Dr. Paul Farmer’s work in Haiti, including two very prevalent social justice issues: distribution of wealth (economic inequality) and healthcare. Mountains Beyond Mountains also questions and depicts human responsibility in correlation to these injustices. One way of example of healthcare injustice was an AIDS quarantine that Dr. Paul Farmer described; ‘He had interviewed some of the Haitians quarantined on Guantanamo, and from them heard stories of wretched treatment at the hands of the U.S. Military – of food with maggots in it, of compulsory blood tests and compulsory injections of the long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera – its effects can last up to eighteen months – of beatings when they protested. One didn’t have to take the Haitians’ word for all of this. In 1993 an American federal judge had described the quarantine in harsh terms and ended it, ruling it as unconstitutional.’ (Part IV Light Month for Travel) I found this particular section profound because the United States effort and its later opinion of its actions are directly relative to the Western`s idea of responsibility toward impoverishing nations. The U.S initial response had been in ‘good’ intention, but clearly was ruled out as ‘wrong’ and inhumane even by constitutional standards. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 25th Article; ‘(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.’ To this end, I believe it is the essential

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