Global Health Diplomacy: The Ethical and Legal Implications on the Protection of Health Workers
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In an era of globalization, health is political. The politicization of health can best be analyzed by focusing on global health diplomacy (GHD), a term that describes the utilization of health investments to forward foreign policy goals. GHD has major implications for how we think about the protections for health workers under both just war theory and international law, as the majority of existing protections require health workers to maintain a level of impartiality. Currently, it is not clear how GHD impacts these protections. I argue that the increasing politicization of health most severely impacts the classification of health workers as liable or non-liable targets. Building off Michael Walzer’s classic approach to just war theory, I contend that health workers should be classified as non-combatants. In my analysis of the existing legal framework, I found that GHD also causes health workers to forfeit some legal protections. To protect health workers during armed conflicts, I argue that states should limit the connection between foreign policy and health and be more transparent about the reasoning behind investments in specific health initiatives. States might also seek UN approval for health workers, giving those workers greater legal protection.
Subjectglobal health diplomacy
just war theory
medicine in conflict
CitationDavis, Emily (2019). Global Health Diplomacy: The Ethical and Legal Implications on the Protection of Health Workers. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18408.
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Rights for Collection: Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers