chapter  13
6 Pages

Global Disparities in Health and Human Rights: A Critical Commentary

WithSolomon R. Benatar

Widening disparities in health and human rights at a global level represent the dark side of progress associated with escalation of economic and military exploitation and exponential population growth in the 20th century. Even the most basic universal human rights cannot be achieved for all under these circumstances. The goal of improved population health will be similary elusive while medical care is commodified and exploited for commercial gain in the marketplace. Recognition of the powerful forces that polarize our world and commitment to reversing them are essential for the achievement of human rights for all, for the improvement of public health, and for the peaceful progress required to protect the “rational self-interest” of the most privileged people on earth against the escalation of war, disease, and other destructive forces arising from widespread poverty and ecological degradation. (Am J Public Health. 1998;88:295–300)