Health Justice: Beyond Reform
How we define health
Health is all that affirms and supports life, allowing us all to live in harmony and dignity with ourselves, one another, and the planet. In these uncertain times of climate chaos and social injustice, the Health Justice Commons unequivocally defines health in this way which most supports us to ensure the future of humanity.
Health does not come out of a bottle, cannot be dispensed by a pharmacy, nor can it be easily or entirely defined by health experts. Health must be defined and informed by us and our wisdom, grounded in the totality of our own experiences, from the laboratory of our lives, our lived in and living bodies. Autonomy and bodily sovereignty are essential elements of health.
How we know
We are peoples’ scientists. We recognize that current scientific knowledge, especially medical knowledge, has emerged from the Medical Industrial Complex (MIC) and is still generated through the MIC. Because the MIC runs on and results in profit and social control, it is not, nor has it ever been objective. We understand science has been manipulated to justify and enable injustice. However, scientific knowledge can also be empowering, liberatory, and generated and implemented in a manner which serves the common good. People have the right and power to determine what is healthy. People have the right and power to generate knowledge. Community generated knowledge is powerful and legitimate.
Learn more about People’s Science.
We use popular education to expose the hidden history and current dynamics of the MIC while supporting the emergence of peoples’ science across our movements. We do this in partnership with progressive doctors, nurses, medical students, health care professionals and healers, and climate and disability justice leaders.
Learn more about the Medical Industrial Complex and why we use this term here.
Our work is necessarily intersectional. In the words of Audre Lorde, we do not live single issue lives, and health and the necessity for health justice is woven into every aspect of our being and world.