Life in crisis : the ethical journey of Doctors without Borders / Peter Redfield.Material type: TextPublisher: Berkeley : University of California Press, c2013Description: xiv, 298 p. : illus ; 23 cmISBN: 9780520274846 (cloth : alk. paper); 9780520274853 (pbk. : alk. paper)Other title: Ethical journey of Doctors without BordersSubject(s): Médecins sans frontières (Association) | Doctors without Borders | Voluntary Health Agencies -- ethics | Altruism | Anthropology, Cultural | Disaster Medicine -- ethics | Health Policy | InternationalityDDC classification: 362.1
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Parts of the chapters were published previously.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A time of crisis -- A secular value of life -- Vital mobility -- Moral witness -- Human frontiers -- The problem of triage -- The longue durée of disease -- The verge of crisis -- Action beyond optimism.
Life in Crisis tells the story of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders or MSF) and its effort to “save lives” on a global scale. Begun in 1971 as a French alternative to the Red Cross, the MSF has grown into an international institution with a reputation for outspoken protest as well as technical efficiency. It has also expanded beyond emergency response, providing for a wider range of endeavors, including AIDS care. Yet its seemingly simple ethical goal proves deeply complex in practice. MSF continually faces the problem of defining its own limits. Its minimalist form of care recalls the promise of state welfare, but without political resolution or a sense of well-being beyond health and survival. Lacking utopian certainty, the group struggles when the moral clarity of crisis fades. Nevertheless, it continues to take action and innovate. Its organizational history illustrates both the logic and the tensions of casting humanitarian medicine into a leading role in international affairs.