Bill Gates has called Paul Farmer one of the most amazing people he has ever met. CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta says that “if pure altruism exists in humans, it probably looks a lot like Dr. Paul Farmer."
In Paul Farmer, Servant to the Poor, Jennie Weiss Block introduces readers to this physician and medical anthropologist of international stature whose Catholic faith has driven him to work untiringly to make a preferential option for the poor in health care. Farmer, with his colleagues at Harvard University and Partners in Health, have been instrumental in bringing the fruits of modern medicine to millions of the poorest people in the world, in places like Haiti, Rwanda, Peru, Russia, Malawi, and West Africa during the recent Ebola crisis. Challenging the conventional wisdom of global health experts, Dr. Farmer has shown it is possible to deliver high-quality medical care on a large scale in settings of great poverty and to build communities around the globe where good health and hope prevail.
About the Author
Jennie Weiss Block, OP, is a Dominican laywoman, a practical theologian, and an author who has taught theology and lectured widely on theological topics. She is co-editor of In the Company of the Poor: Conversations with Dr. Paul Farmer and Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez (Orbis Books, 2013) and wrote a chapter of Haiti after the Earthquake (Public Affairs, 2011). Her book Copious Hosting: A Theology of Access for People with Disabilities (Continuum, 2002) is considered a seminal text in disability theology. She has served as chief adviser to Dr. Paul Farmer since 2009 and was his chief of staff in his role as United Nations Deputy Special Envoy under President Bill Clinton.
Table of Contents
Contents Acknowledgments ix Introduction 1Chapter One - A Bus, a Boat, and Some Big Ideas 13Chapter Two - The Corporal Works of Mercy: Weapons of Mass Salvation 29Chapter Three Coupling Inquiry and Implementation: Making a Preferential Option for the Poor in Health Care 48Chapter Four Mountains, Pathologies, No Cheap Grace: Towards Global Health Equity 73Chapter Five Fighting the Long Defeat: Making Common Cause with the Losers 97Chapter Six Who Lives, Who Dies?: Access to Health Care as a Human Right 128Conclusion Accompaniment: Sharing the Gift of Christian Hope 149 Abbreviated Time Line of Events in Paul Farmer’s Life and Work 160 Notes 163 Selected Bibliography 175 Index 179