Quotes by: Paul Farmer

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Paul Farmer
Born (1959-10-26) October 26, 1959 (age 57)
North Adams, Massachusetts
Other names Doktè Paul
Residence Kigali, Rwanda
United States
Cange, Haiti
Nationality American
Fields Internal Medicine
Infectious Disease
Medical Anthropology
Institutions Harvard University
Alma mater Duke University (BA)
Harvard University (MD, PhD)
Notable awards Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize
MacArthur Genius Grant

I'm one of six kids, and the eight of us lived for over a decade in either a bus or a boat.
Paul Farmer
I don't know much about climate change. But I'm pretty sure we better figure out what to do to lessen its impact - at least its health impact - and that's not going to happen unless you have a lot of young talent interested in these topics.
Paul Farmer
If you look just at the decades after 1934, you know it's hard to point to really inspired and positive support from outside of Haiti, to Haiti, and much easier to point to either small-minded or downright mean-spirited policies.
Paul Farmer
One of the things we have to acknowledge is that if you look at Haiti, many billions of dollars have gone into development aid there that have not been effective.
Paul Farmer
Haiti is always talking about decentralization and nothing has been so obvious, perhaps a weakness, as the centralized nature of Haitian society as being revealed by the earthquake. I mean, they lost all these medical training programs because they didn't have them anywhere else.
Paul Farmer
At the same time, it is obvious that clinicians in Haiti are faced with different, and, in fact, greater, challenges when attempting to treat complications of HIV disease.
Paul Farmer
The human rights community has focused very narrowly on political and civil rights for many decades, and with reason, but now we have to ask how can we broaden the view.
Paul Farmer
But if you're asking my opinion, I would argue that a social justice approach should be central to medicine and utilized to be central to public health. This could be very simple: the well should take care of the sick.
Paul Farmer
In fact, it seems to me that making strategic alliances across national borders in order to treat HIV among the world's poor is one of the last great hopes of solidarity across a widening divide.
Paul Farmer
I think we will see better vaccines within the next 15 years, but I'm not a scientist and am focused on the short-term - what will happen in the interim.
Paul Farmer
I recommend the same therapies for all humans with HIV. There is no reason to believe that physiologic responses to therapy will vary across lines of class, culture, race or nationality.
Paul Farmer
I think that looking forward it's easy to imagine more constructive help for Haiti.
Paul Farmer
Civil and political rights are critical, but not often the real problem for the destitute sick. My patients in Haiti can now vote but they can't get medical care or clean water.
Paul Farmer
For me, an area of moral clarity is: you're in front of someone who's suffering and you have the tools at your disposal to alleviate that suffering or even eradicate it, and you act.
Paul Farmer
The thing about rights is that in the end you can't prove what should be considered a right.
Paul Farmer
Some people talk about Haiti as being the graveyard of development projects.
Paul Farmer
So I can't show you how, exactly, health care is a basic human right. But what I can argue is that no one should have to die of a disease that is treatable.
Paul Farmer
If any country was a mine-shaft canary for the reintroduction of cholera, it was Haiti - and we knew it. And in retrospect, more should have been done to prepare for cholera... which can spread like wildfire in Haiti... This was a big rebuke to all of us working in public health and health care in Haiti.
Paul Farmer
I've been impressed, over the last 15 years, with how often the somewhat conspiratorial comments of Haitian villagers have been proven to be correct when the historical record is probed carefully.
Paul Farmer
Everybody should be interested in access to primary and secondary education for everybody.
Paul Farmer
If you look at people who seek a lot of care in American cities for multiple illnesses, it's usually people with a number of overwhelming illnesses and a lot of social problems, like housing instability, unemployment, lack of insurance, lack of housing, or just bad housing.
Paul Farmer
I've been working in Haiti 28 years - I thought I'd sort of seen it... I've gone through a number of coups, the storms of 2008, I thought, you know, that I'd seen things as bad as they were going to get, and I was wrong.
Paul Farmer
The poorest parts of the world are by and large the places in which one can best view the worst of medicine and not because doctors in these countries have different ideas about what constitutes modern medicine. It's the system and its limitations that are to blame.
Paul Farmer
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