Lectures

Running on Borrowed Life

This article is part of the series:

On a cold January afternoon in 2018, 18-year-old Sara locates me in the crowd at the train station. Together we take the bus to her home in a small village in rural Denmark. Sara tells me that she is excited to be training for her driver’s license. However, she is worried that her application for the license will be scrutinized …

Lectures

Chronic living against all odds in Honduras

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Yesenia was born with congenital heart disease in 2000, a time in Honduras when heart defects meant certain, if not sudden, death for most children. Owing to surgical advances dating back to the 1950s, most children in more resourced countries could by then be diagnosed and treated in a timely manner, significantly improving their chances of long-term survival. In Honduras, …

Lectures

The ‘chronic’ lives of failing organs: afflictions of ambivalent care in Mexico

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Life has always been difficult, Maria del Rosario told me, but she coped. That was before all the sickness. When her mother’s kidneys began to fail, she felt traumatised, utterly overwhelmed. No matter what she or anyone else did to help, it was no good. Their lives simply fell apart.[i]

Maria, a single mother of two, lived in Balcones …

Lectures

“Hygiene” is the Future: Lessons from “Post”-Cholera Haiti

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This essay is about paying respect. In 2018, after my first summer of preliminary fieldwork in the Artibonite region of Haiti, I returned disappointed and disillusioned. With the intention of studying local health related issues in the port city of Saint-Marc, the projects that were seemingly possible for me were ones I wanted to avoid. As a typical graduate student, …

Lectures

From women to women: building the state response to the Zika epidemic in Brazil

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For English, click here.

De mulher para mulher: construindo a resposta do estado à epidemia de Zika no Brasil

‘Minha vida era uma antes e outra depois da Zika’, disse Dra. Celina Turchi em uma conferência em Recife. Ela liderava o grupo que comprovou a relação causal entre o vírus da Zika e o aumento dos casos de microcefalia …

Features

Scholarly Stretching and Meta-Ethnography in the Medico-Legal Borderlands

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We met some years back at a scholarly conference where we were both presenting papers on a common theme: health care in the service of the law. We bonded over our shared academic interest in Stefan Timmermans and Jonathan Gabe’s (2002) “medico-legal borderlands” framework. As we came to realize, our research agendas were both conceptually situated within ‘borderland’ spaces. We …