Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Romance Languages

Thesis Type

College of Arts and Science Honors, Honors College

First Advisor

Meaghan Emery


witnessing, Camus, La Peste, Holocaust, medical ethics, Médecins Sans Frontières


This study focuses on the advocacy practices of the organization Médecins Sans Frontières, which is an independent provider of medical relief and other forms of humanitarian aid. Since 1971, MSF has carried out medical humanitarian missions to aid in reducing the suffering of populations due to disaster or armed conflict, delivering care irrespective of a patient’s identity. This study addresses the importance of witnessing as a core principle of MSF and examines the different forms that it takes. MSF's practice of witnessing is traced to its roots in Holocaust testimony and Camus's ethic of resistance as exemplified in La Peste. Finally, this study investigates the relationship between witnessing and medical ethics and concludes that MSF's advocacy is important to MSF’s ability to care for its patients, because healthcare and humanitarian aid cannot always be effective on their own.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.