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Paul Farmer quotes Showing 1-22 of 22

“The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.”
Paul Farmer
“It is very expensive to give bad medical care to poor people in a rich country.”
Paul Farmer
“Anywhere you have extreme poverty and no national health insurance, no promise of health care regardless of social standing, that's where you see the sharp limitations of market-based health care. ”
Paul Farmer
“WL’s [White Liberals] think all the world’s problems can be fixed without any cost to themselves. We don’t believe that. There’s a lot to be said for sacrifice, remorse, even pity. It’s what separates us from roaches”
Paul Farmer, Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World
“I've been asked a lot for my view on American health care. Well, 'it would be a good idea,' to quote Gandhi.”
Paul Farmer
“We want to be on the winning team, but at the risk of turning our backs on the losers, no, it is not worth it. So we fight the long defeat.”
Paul Farmer
“Statistics or graphs,’” are not optimal to understand the ‘experience of suffering.’” (qtd in Sutton 11)”
Paul Farmer, M.D.
“There is nothing wrong with underlining personal agency, but there is something unfair about using personal responsibility as a basis for assigning blame while simultaneously denying those who are being blamed the opportunity to exert agency in their lives”
Paul Farmer, Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues
“Haiti was founderd by a righteous revolution in 1804 and became the first black republic. It was the first country to break the chains of slavery, the first to force Emperor Napoleon to retreat, and the only to aid Simón Bolívar in his struggle to liberate the indigenous people and slaves of Latin America from their colonial oppressors.”
Paul Farmer, Haiti After the Earthquake
“with rare exceptions, all of your most important achievements on this planet will come from working with others—or, in a word, partnership.”
Paul Farmer, To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation
“If I am hungry, that is a material problem; if someone else is hungry, that is a spiritual problem.”
Paul Farmer, In the Company of the Poor: Conversations with Dr. Paul Farmer and Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez
“Human rights violations are not accidents; they are not random in distribution or effect. Rights violations are, rather, symptoms of deeper pathologies of power and are linked intimately to the social conditions that so often determine who will suffer abuse and who will be shielded from harm”
Paul Farmer, Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights and the New War on the Poor
“a decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.”
Paul Farmer, In the Company of the Poor: Conversations with Dr. Paul Farmer and Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez
“I said, "Nég Mawon toujou kanpé!!" —the free man is still standing!! And she replied, powerfully. "Cheri, Nég Mawon p'ap jamn krazé" —my dear, the free man will never be broken.”
Paul Farmer, Haiti After the Earthquake
“Sure, I said. But some people would ask, 'How can you expect others to replicate what you're doing here?' What would be your answer to that?
He turned back and , smiling sweetly, said, Fuck you.
Then, in a stentorian voice, he corrected himself: No. I would say, 'The objective is to inculcate in the doctors and nurses the spirit to dedicate themselves to the patients, and especially to having an outcome-oriented view of TB.' He was grinning, his face alight. He looked very young just then. In other words, 'Fuck you'.”
Paul Farmer & Tracy Kidder
“the basis of our preferential option for the poor to say: I accompany them not because they are all good, or because I am all good, but because God is good.”
Paul Farmer, In the Company of the Poor: Conversations with Dr. Paul Farmer and Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez
“It is with this surety that we must stand with Haiti, a country whose spirit and people will never be broken, and work in solidarity toward the future the Haitian people deserve.”
Paul Farmer, Haiti After the Earthquake
“Do we see [human disparity] as a human predicament--an inescapable result of frailty of our existence? That would be correct had these sufferings been really inescapable, but they are far from that. Preventable diseases can indeed be prevented, curable ailments can certainly be cured, and controllable maladies call out for control. Rather than lamenting the adversity of nature, we have to look for a better comprehension of the social cuases of horror and also of our tolerance of societal abominations.”
Paul Farmer, Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights and the New War on the Poor
“Farmer points to what he calls "structural violence," which influences "the nature and distribution of extreme suffering." The book is, as he explains, "a physician-anthropologist's effort to reveal the ways in which the most basic right-the right to survive-is trampled in an age of great affluence." He argues: "Human rights violations are not accidents; they are not random in distribution or effect. Rights violations are, rather, symptoms of deeper pathologies of power and are linked intimately to the social conditions that so often determine who will suffer abuse and who will be shielded from harm.”
Paul Farmer, Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor
“Statistics no longer frghten us. But pictures of the starving children of Biafra, of Haiti, or of India, with thousands sleeping in the streets, ought to. And this entirely apart from the horrors that befall the poor when they struggle to deliver themselves from their poverty: the tortures, the beheadings, the mothers who someow manage to reach a refuge, but carrying a dead child--a child who could not be nursed in flight and count not be buried after it had died. The catalogue of terrors is endless.”
Paul Farmer, Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights and the New War on the Poor
“Human rights violations are nit accidents; they are not random in distribution or effect. Rights violations are, rather, symptoms of deeper pathologies of power and are linked intimately to the social conditions that so often determine who will suffer abuse and who will be shielded from harm.”
Paul Farmer
“Laws are not science; they are normative ideology and are thus tightly tied to power. Biomedicine and public health, though also vulnerable to being deformed by ideology, serve different imperatives, ask different questions. They do not ask whether an event or a process violates an existing rule; they ask whether that event or process has ill effects on a patient or a population.”
Paul Farmer, Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights and the New War on the Poor


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