Book Brief: Global Health and Global Health Ethics

Solomon Benatar and Gillian Brock
Cambridge University Press, 2011
ISBN 9780521146777
350 pages

Benatar and Brock explore the obligations and challenges surrounding the improvement of global health in their new textbook, Global Health and Global Health Ethics. The editors posit that a comprehensive understanding of ethical issues concerning health is necessary for the promotion of sustainable and healthy living conditions, both locally and globally.

Beginning with an overview of relevant definitions in global health, the book moves to an exploration of central issues in global health ethics and the obligations of states and other actors to improve public health. A keen analysis of several determinants of ill health examines crucial issues of our day, such as international arms trading, the crippling debt of poor countries, and civil war, as well as their global health implications. Benatar and Brock outline and evaluate several high profile approaches to improving the status of health around the world. The authors conclude that considerable multidisciplinary research, community engagement, and material resources will be necessary in order to improve global health, but call for universal hope that it can be achieved, invoking Nelson Mandela’s famous words, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”