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The health of individuals, families, and communities has deep, intuitive meaning. So much of what we aspire to be as individuals or as members of society relies on health. Our shared intuitions about the value of health manifest themselves in public and political concerns. The media widely reports threats to the public's health, such as a traveler with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, E-coli from contaminated spinach, miners' deaths, unsafe children's toys, and dangerous pharmaceuticals. Election years predictably spur new, or refashioned, proposals for health care reform. And there remain enduring, intractable health hazards, such as tobacco, obesity, motor vehicle crashes, and endemic diseases such as HIV/AIDS. The public hears much less about the health of the world's poorest people, except perhaps during extreme events, such as a refugee crisis or a tsunami. But the world's poor suffer multiple, compounding disadvantages that well surpass the burdens experienced by those in richer countries-poverty, famine, tropical diseases, and often the atrocities of war and dislocation, to name a few.

Publication Citation

96 Geo. L.J. 317-329 (2008)