Building on ethnographic research on wounds and the ecologies of war and healthcare in Iraq and across the Middle East, this talk explores the rise of Iraqibacter, a moniker given to Acinetobacter baumannii — a superbug associated with the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. Tracing the histories and geographies of this “superbug” across the landscapes of war injury, I show how unravelling...
Misdiagnosis, Mistreatment, and Harm — When Medical Care Ignores Social Forces
In the March 19, 2020 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, BCSM co-chair Seth Holmes and his co-authors argue against former University of Pennsylvania Dean of Medical Education Stanley Goldfarb, who wrote that social justice should not be included in medical training. In the article, they argue the importance of social forces to health and health care, and that ignoring social forces leads to misdiagnosis, mistreatment and harm.
Since 2015, an unprecedented number of people from Middle Eastern and African countries have crossed borders into and within Europe. Calling this a crisis implies responding to it, on the one hand, with humanitarian gestures of saving lives, and, on the other, with stricter border control. I reflect on the grammar of crisis and the forms of care that it simultaneously enables and disables. I am inspired by the relationship between two painters—from Tunisia and Nigeria—and their forms of therapeutic and ethical explorations through art.