Home > Free Essays > Sociology > Human Rights > Paul Farmer about the Human Rights

Paul Farmer about the Human Rights Explicatory Essay

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Jun 18th, 2019

Ideally, we can comprehend human rights as unassailable elemental rights that an individual is intrinsically entitled because he/she is a human-being. Also, we can perceive them as being egalitarian and universal. As a matter of fact, these rights can be deemed to be either legal rights or natural rights.

Human rights are the basis of tranquility, self-determination and evenhandedness because they recognize equality, and inherent dignity all over the globe (Trostle, 2005). This paper will depict the call by Paul Farmer for the human rights to have a newer definition that will not disregard the most fundamental rights, such as health, all-foods, and shelter.

To begin with, the disdain or disregarding of the fundamental human rights have led to acts that are barbarous, and which are capable of outraging the individuals’ conscience as well as the globe’s advent that can permit an individual to enjoy the freedom of trepidation, freedom of talking; and freedom of basic needs like shelter, all-foods, and health.

These human rights can be affirmed as the individual’s foremost priority. These essential rights ought to be included in newer definition of human rights.

For instance, if an individual does not have a right to shelter, or health, or all-foods, then he/she is likely to become rebellious against being oppressed and autocracy. It can be vital if the rule-of-law protects this (Trostle, 2005).

Actually, by profession, Farmer Paul was a Medical Anthropology Professor at Harvard-Medical school. He initiated Partners-In-Health. In his Pathologies-of-power book, he greatly employed consecrating stories about life-and-death in circumstances that were tremendous with the aim of interrogating how we can comprehend human rights.

Also, as a physician and an anthropologist, Paul was an experienced worker with over 20 years as he had worked in a number of nations, such as Russia, Haiti, and Peru.

As a result, Farmer argued that the current struggle for the essential and most vital human rights was to promote the social, as well as the economic rights of the poor individuals around the globe.

The eyewitness accounts by Paul were passionate. These accounts came from the prisons of Russia and the two villages that were beleaguered, such as: the Chiapas villages; and the Haiti villages. In actual fact, these accounts were employed by Farmer in linking the affected victims to a wider scrutiny with regards to structural violence.

Nevertheless, unadventurous thinking that was within the circles of human rights was challenged by Farmer as he tried to expose the correlations amid economical prejudice and politics, as well as the relationship between the powerless and their ill-health and/or suffering (Farmer, 2003).

Farmer was not only angry but also hopeful. This is because he was fervent as well as being authoritative at the same time. Vitally, the arguments by Farmer were elucidated as a request that was convincing in substantiating the human rights delineation not to disregard the most rudimentary rights, such as healthiness, all-foods, and shelter.

This plea had a potency that was deemed to be special as it came from a great individual that had already portrayed the notion that, it is probable to have a universal dream as well as a human-rights definition that is comprehensive. Also, Farmer brought health, shelter, food, and hopefulness to a number of poorest individuals in the world (Farmer, 2003).

While fighting for the newer definition of human rights, we can say that Farmer was not only charismatic but also luminous. He challenged individuals to face the 21st Century dogmatic and conjectural challenges that were regarded as being urgent.

This was to be done by linking personified social agony with structural violence but in so doing, the human rights was to be defined afresh. While referring to Farmer’s book that was entitled Pathologies-of-Power, As Trostle puts it, “Once this book is out, we will no longer be able to remain complacently or rather complicity on the sidelines” (Trostle, 2005, p. 117).

Idyllically, in his arguments, Farmer gave a critique of the fanatical moral principles regarding a conformist. On the ground, he critiqued the relentless marching of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the drug-resistant tuberculosis amid those individuals that were very sick, the poor, and the imprisoned individuals.

This notion illuminated that the worldwide economy had made a number of pathologies to lose their soul. Paul clearly illustrated that the societal forces that were alike were capable of giving rise to endemic disorders, such as tuberculosis and HIV, which were also capable of sculpting risk for persons to violate human rights.

Nonetheless, Farmer was also able to portray the manner in which gender inequality and racism, particularly in America, were embodied as being a disorder or demise or both. Farmer’s book is regarded as being milestone away from an inventory-of-abuse that is hopeless.

The examples that Farmer used in his book correlated with a guarded sanguinity and thus, individuals needed new medical or/and social techniques so as to be able to implement/develop them with a more informed level-headedness as regards to social justice.

If not, Farmer asserted that the individuals will not tackle structural violence but only deal with social inequality (Farmer, 2003).

The urgent plea by Farmer was to perceive human rights in the milieu of the public health and then consider eminence concerns that are critical and finally, guarantee that the poor individuals around the globe are able to access them.

This concern should be fundamental as presently, the globe has been characterized not only by bizarre propinquity that is in excess, but also suffering. This present central dilemma was captured by Farmer Paul. This dilemma encompassed the societal well being and the escalating health discrepancies (Payer, 1996).

In view of the fact that all United Nations member countries had already deprecated the gross-violations of human rights that had been perpetrated by a number of individuals who were capable of torturing, murdering/killing or imprisoning another individual, we usually ignore the human-rights violations that are insidious, and which are as a result of structural violence, such as: the fiscal opportunity refutation, housing that is decent; accessibility to healthcare facilities; and accessibility to educational facilities.

As thus, Farmer affirmed that, “Pathologies of Power makes a powerful case that our very humanity is threatened by our collective failure to end these abuses” (Farmer, 2003, p. 87).

In conclusion, we can say that arguments by Farmer have assisted us in opening up our hearts and intellects.

This is due to the fact that it has displayed itself as an engaged-scholarship model, as well as a call that is urgent, and which can motivate social scientists to be capable of forsaking their undemanding disregard for human-rights both at home and away from home. In reality, Farmer’s book has gathered both an activist’s potency and the strength of a thinker.


Farmer, P. (2003). Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights and the New War on the Poor. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Payer, L. (1996). Medicine and Culture. New York: Holt Paperbacks.

Trostle, J. (2005). Epidemiology and Culture (Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology). Berwick: Cambridge University Press.

This explicatory essay on Paul Farmer about the Human Rights was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Explicatory Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar

certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:


IvyPanda. (2019, June 18). Paul Farmer about the Human Rights. https://ivypanda.com/essays/paul-farmer-about-the-human-rights/


IvyPanda. (2019, June 18). Paul Farmer about the Human Rights. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/paul-farmer-about-the-human-rights/

Work Cited

"Paul Farmer about the Human Rights." IvyPanda, 18 June 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/paul-farmer-about-the-human-rights/.

1. IvyPanda. "Paul Farmer about the Human Rights." June 18, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/paul-farmer-about-the-human-rights/.


IvyPanda. "Paul Farmer about the Human Rights." June 18, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/paul-farmer-about-the-human-rights/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Paul Farmer about the Human Rights." June 18, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/paul-farmer-about-the-human-rights/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Paul Farmer about the Human Rights'. 18 June.

Powered by CiteTotal, online bibliography generator
More related papers