More Resources on Rights and the Struggle for Health

June 6, 2001

Online Resources

The Shame of Medical Research, by David Rothman
Should medical researchers be allowed to perform experiments on subjects in Asia and Africa, where testing standards are much lower than in Western states? Rothman's detailed look at the ethical implications of medical testing in Third World countries is a provocative read.

Health and Human Rights (requires Acrobat), by Sofia Gruskin, Edward Mills, and Daniel Tarantola
This article is necessary reading for anyone new to the field of health and human rights. Gruskin, Mills, and Tarantola provide an excellent overview of this relatively new discipline by offering information on its historical development and on the linkage between public health and human rights.

Reflections on Emerging Frameworks of Health and Human Rights, by Lynn P. Freedman
"I view health and human rights advocacy as an essentially subversive activity," writes Freedman. Focusing on women's health rights, she stresses the need to look beyond isolated health problems and develop a more structural critique that reveals the social patterns behind rights violations.

Human Rights and the AIDS Crisis, by Kenneth Roth
"Can a human-rights perspective help us confront the AIDS crisis?," asks Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch. Roth's speech, delivered during the AIDS Conference in South Africa (2000), explores the importance of economic and social rights in combating the AIDS epidemic.


Global Lawyers and Physicians
GLP focuses on health and human rights, patient rights, and human experimentation. This is the place to really do some digging, as their site features an excellent database.

Physicians for Human Rights
PHR provides guidance for health professionals to ensure that their practices uphold human rights standards, and it also investigates and exposes human rights abuses. Read about case studies that focus on the health effects of conflicts.


University Research Centers

FXB Center for Health and Human Rights
Harvard's FXB Center, originally directed by the late Jonathan Mann, could be considered the authority on health and human rights, being the first center to focus exclusively on this issue. The Center's peer-reviewed journal, Health and Human Rights, is an excellent resource for exploring this topic.

The Health and Human Rights Group
In 1996, some unsettling questions were raised about a health institution in Haiti with which the Johns Hopkins School of Hygeine and Public Health actively collaborates. The Health and Human Rights Group's position paper examines this controversy.

The Carter Center
The Carter Center's health programs focus on fighting disease and improving agriculture in developing countries. This site is great for detailed information on specific diseases that the Center has tackled.

Listserv: American Medical Students Association
AMSA has a listserv that educates and motivates students to learn more about healthcare within the context of human rights. It includes a short newsletter every 4-6 weeks and messages on timely topics. To join, email To join a list focused on international health issues, email