Date & Time
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
"The incisive essays included here unravel the deep institutional roots and serious flaws of this failing system and indicate directions that can lead to establishing decent health care as a fundamental human right.—Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Laureate Professor, University of Arizona
Howard Waitzkin discusses "Health Care Under the Knife: Moving Beyond Capitalism for Our Health." He will be joined in conversation by Bill Ayers.
At the Co-op
About the book: “I’ve still got my health so what do I care?” goes a lyric in an old Cole Porter song. Most of us, in fact, assume we can’t live full lives, or take on life’s challenges, without also assuming that we’re basically healthy and will be for the foreseeable future. But these days, our health and well-being are sorted through an ever-expanding, profit-seeking financial complex that monitors, controls, and commodifies our very existence. Given that our access to competent, affordable health care grows more precarious each day, the arrival of Health Care Under the Knife could not be more timely. In this empowering book, noted health-care professionals, scholars, and activists—including coordinator Howard Waitzkin—impart their inside knowledge of the medical system: what’s wrong, how it got this way, and what we can do to heal it.
The book is comprised of individual essays addressing the “medical industrial complex,” the impact of privatization and cutbacks under neoliberalism, the nature of health-care work, and the intersections between health care and imperialism, both historically and at present. We see how the health of our bodies in “developed” countries is tied to the health of the bodies of the labor force in the Global South, and how the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are linked strangely, inextricably, to our physical well-being. But this analysis would not be complete without the book’s final section, which delivers invaluable guidance for how to change this system. Recounting case studies and successful efforts for creating a more humane community, this book ultimately gives us hope that our health-care system can be rescued and made an integral part of a new and radically different society.
About the author: Howard Waitzkin is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of New Mexico and Adjunct Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Illinois. His work has focused on health policy in comparative international perspective and on psychosocial issues in primary care. He has been active for years in the struggles for national health programs in the United States and Latin America. He is the author of "Medicine and Public Health at the End of Empire," among others.
About the interlocutor: Bill Ayers is a social justice activist, teacher, Distinguished Professor of Education (retired) at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and author of two memoirs.