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Rethinking Health and Human Rights


In Paul Famer’s book “Pathologies of Power”, he discusses the shift in the global market economy and the its influence on human rights. He points out the outlined rights given in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states, “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and 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”. Despite the fact that this universal creed is in existence, many people are not given those basic necessities which are supposed to be allotted to them. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Companies consider themselves to be separate entities which do not have to abide by the same rules as an individual. They often times get away with not providing safe work environments for their employees and giving them unjust wages. They feel that it is not within their responsibilities as a company to be concerned with human rights. The government is also at fault when it comes to human rights issues. Farmer uses the example of the poor government health care services in Mexico. The government health care services were described as being discriminatory, exacerbating political divisions, and failing utterly to address the real health needs of the population”.

Depression is an issue because people are not being given the proper medical care and do not have the means with which to address their mental health problems. This can lead to all kinds of societal problems as a result.


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