Date of Completion
Honors College Thesis
Type of Thesis
College of Arts and Science Honors, Honors College
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
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Waters, Emma Clare, "The United Tasks of Healing and Witnessing: The practice of combined ethics within Médecins Sans Frontières" (2016). UVM Honors College Senior Theses. 124.