Global Health Justice Lecture – Human Rights and Health

Global Health Justice (GHJ) is a new public lecture and discussion series organised by the London-based charity Medact and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) focusing on the socio-political determinants of health. GHJ aims to bring a strong social science and humanities perspective to global health and provide a space for students, campaigners and academics to discuss, debate and exchange ideas that will challenge and push forward both research and policy.

3rd Lecture: Health and Human Rights

Date: 26th of November

Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Location: The Bainbridge Room on the second floor of the Robin Brook Centre – Queen Mary University at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital 

In the third of this new lecture series, our speakers will be discussing health and human rights in the context of the Middle East – specifically, the conflict in Israel and Palestine. Dr Ang Swee Chai helped to found Medical Aid for Palestinians, a UK based charity working in Lebanon and occupied Palestine to provide access to essential health services for the most vulnerable Palestinians, such as children and people with disabilities. MAP works hard to understand the needs of Palestinians and to work towards a more sustainable and responsive health system. Dr Ang Swee Chai will be talking about human rights and health in the Palestinian context – as well as discussing the root causes of poor health in occupied Palestine.

Chris Venables recently returned from working as a human rights monitor in the West Bank city of Hebron. He will be reporting back from his experience, telling the stories of the people he met, and detailing what he describes as “the systematic lack of respect for basic human rights in the city of Hebron”. Chris was working as a human rights monitor in the H2 area of Hebron – a very small, tense and volatile part of the city that is home to 30,000 Palestinians, 600 Israeli settlers and around 800 Israeli soldiers. You can read about Chris’ experience on his blog.

The evening will be chaired by Dr Miran Epstein (Queen Mary University).

Dr Ang Swee Chai (Medical Aid for Palestinians and Barts Health)

BaBaDr Ang Swee Chai is the first female consultant orthopaedic surgeon to be appointed at Barts Hospital. In 1982, she went to Beirut to help civilian war victims there. She was the surgeon on duty during the Sabra and Shatila massacres, and then went on to Jerusalem to testify as an eyewitness before the Kahan Commission of Inquiry into the genocide. In 1987, she was awarded the “Star of Palestine”, the highest award for services to the Palestinian people. On her return to Britain, she help to found the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Chris Venables (Programme Officer at Medact and Human Rights Monitor with EAPPI)

Chris Venables from Medact has recently returned from a sabbatical working for three months as a human rights monitor with EAPPI in the West Bank city of Hebron. Chris studied Politics at the University of York, then worked for the Quaker Council for European Affairs in Brussels researching and writing on the growth of EU defence policy. In the West Bank, Chris was part of a small team who worked to document and record violations of international law, working alongside Israeli and Palestinian peace and human rights organisations.

Chaired by Dr Miran Epstein (QMUL)

Miran Epstein was born and educated in Tel Aviv, Israel. He received his MD in 1987 from the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, and his MA and PhD in history and philosophy of science in 1996 and 2004, respectively, from the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Tel Aviv University. Miran Epstein is Reader in Medical Ethics at Bart and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London. He has published extensively on a wide spectrum of issues in medical ethics and is a Key Opinion Leader On Organ Transplantation (The Transplantation Society) and a UK Emissary on behalf of the Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism Custodian Group.