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Book Talk: When Misfortune Becomes Injustice: Evolving Human Rights Struggles for Health and Social Equality

February 7, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

When Misfortune Becomes Injustice (Stanford University Press, February 2020) surveys the progress and challenges faced in deploying human rights to advance health and social equality over the last thirty years, with a particular focus on women’s health and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Author and Petrie-Flom Center Senior Fellow Alicia Ely Yamin weaves together firsthand experience as an academic, practitioner, and advocate, with arguments drawn from law, public health, economics and democratic theory, to explore how evolving international and national legal norms, the advent of medical and technological discoveries, and economic policies have interacted in the realization of health-related rights.

When Misfortune Becomes Injustice tells a story of extraordinary progress with respect to health-related rights over the last few decades, in both conceptual frameworks and diverse people’s lived realities. However, Yamin shows that over these same years economic reforms at global and national levels shrank the political space necessary to realize a robust agenda in health and other social rights. In the face of ballooning inequality, a loss of confidence in democratic institutions and multilateralism, and existential threats posed by climate change today, Yamin proposes a re-energized human rights praxis to promote health, gender equality, and social justice.

At this event, Yamin will be joined by expert panelists to discuss both the progresses and the challenges that she describes in the book, as well as her proposals for a re-energized human rights praxis.

A light lunch will be available.

This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP at the link below.

Alicia Ely Yamin, Senior Fellow, The Petrie-Flom Center

Sue Goldie, Roger Irving Lee Professor of Public Health and Director, Center for Health Decision Science, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health; Director, Global Health Education and Learning Incubator at Harvard University

Michael Ashley Stein, Executive Director, Harvard Law School Project on Disability; Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School

Lucie White, Louis A. Horvitz Professor of Law, Harvard Law School


February 7, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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Research Programs Events
Petrie-Flom Center


Wasserstein Hall 2036
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States


The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School