Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Contribution:

Structural competency during war and political crisis  
Zvika Orr (Jerusalem College of Technology) Eyad Abu Sara (hadassah mount scopus hospital) Mark Fleming (University of California, Berkeley)

Contribution short abstract:

This paper examines how healthcare leaders and institutions in Israel deploy discourses of medical neutrality and intervention to navigate the politics of judicial overhaul and war. We argue that a structurally competent medicine should account for political violence as a determinant of health.

Contribution long abstract:

This paper explores the meaning, manifestations, and ramifications of medical neutrality in conflict zones. Medical neutrality is a normative arrangement that differentiates a zone of clinical practice in which patients are treated impartially, and medical personnel are shielded from the demands of politics and conflict. We analyze how Israeli healthcare institutions and leaders variously deploy discourses of medical neutrality and intervention to navigate and take varying stances on the judicial overhaul and the war in Gaza, and how they represented the role of the healthcare system in society and during conflict. We find that healthcare institutions and leaders promoted a vision of the Israeli healthcare system as a neutral space of coexistence, while at the same time intervening into political affairs deemed to be within the realm of legitimate public debate. This analysis reveals how healthcare institutions use concepts of neutrality to protect their expertise and authority while also strategically intervening into political conflict. We suggest that a structurally competent medicine must explicitly recognize the normative arrangements of neutrality and intervention unique to the practices of healthcare institutions. Concomitantly, the conceptual framework of structural competency should be broadened to include conflict-related issues and address the needs of the victims of severe structural violence in conflict areas, thus promoting peace, health equity, and social justice.

Roundtable RT059
(Un)doing the anthropology of health care crisis: Structural Competency and health care professionals [Medical Anthropology Europe (MAE)]
  Session 1