In search of the 'new informal legitimacy' of Médecins Sans Frontières

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10144/302764
Title:
In search of the 'new informal legitimacy' of Médecins Sans Frontières
Authors:
Calain, Philippe
Journal:
Public Health Ethics
Abstract:
For medical humanitarian organizations, making their sources of legitimacy explicit is a useful exercise, in response to: misperceptions, concerns over the 'humanitarian space', controversies about specific humanitarian actions, challenges about resources allocation and moral suffering among humanitarian workers. This is also a difficult exercise, where normative criteria such as international law or humanitarian principles are often misrepresented as primary sources of legitimacy. This essay first argues for a morally principled definition of humanitarian medicine, based on the selfless intention of individual humanitarian actors. Taking Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as a case in point, a common source of moral legitimacy for medical humanitarian organizations is their cosmopolitan appeal to distributive justice and collective responsibility. More informally, their legitimacy is grounded in the rightfulness of specific actions and choices. This implies a constant commitment to publicity and accountability. Legitimacy is also generated by tangible support from the public to individual organizations, by commitments to professional integrity, and by academic alliances to support evidence-based practice and operational research.
Affiliation:
Unité de Recherche sur les Enjeux et Pratiques Humanitaires (UREPH), Médecins Sans Frontières-Switzerland
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Issue Date:
30-Dec-2011
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10144/302764
DOI:
10.1093/phe/phr036
PubMed ID:
22442647
Additional Links:
http://cid.oxfordjournals.org//cgi/reprint/57/9/1351?ijkey=56xNTA/HM44tA&keytype=ref&siteid=cid
Submitted date:
2013-06-20
Language:
en
Description:
To access this article, click on "Additional Links"
ISSN:
1754-9973
Appears in Collections:
Health Politics

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorCalain, Philippeen_GB
dc.date.accessioned2013-10-04T20:13:12Z-
dc.date.available2013-10-04T20:13:12Z-
dc.date.issued2011-12-30-
dc.date.submitted2013-06-20-
dc.identifier.citationIn Search of the 'New Informal Legitimacy' of Médecins Sans Frontières. 2012, 5 (1):56-66 Public Health Ethicsen_GB
dc.identifier.issn1754-9973-
dc.identifier.pmid22442647-
dc.identifier.doi10.1093/phe/phr036-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10144/302764-
dc.descriptionTo access this article, click on "Additional Links"-
dc.description.abstractFor medical humanitarian organizations, making their sources of legitimacy explicit is a useful exercise, in response to: misperceptions, concerns over the 'humanitarian space', controversies about specific humanitarian actions, challenges about resources allocation and moral suffering among humanitarian workers. This is also a difficult exercise, where normative criteria such as international law or humanitarian principles are often misrepresented as primary sources of legitimacy. This essay first argues for a morally principled definition of humanitarian medicine, based on the selfless intention of individual humanitarian actors. Taking Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as a case in point, a common source of moral legitimacy for medical humanitarian organizations is their cosmopolitan appeal to distributive justice and collective responsibility. More informally, their legitimacy is grounded in the rightfulness of specific actions and choices. This implies a constant commitment to publicity and accountability. Legitimacy is also generated by tangible support from the public to individual organizations, by commitments to professional integrity, and by academic alliances to support evidence-based practice and operational research.en_GB
dc.languageENG-
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherOxford University Pressen_GB
dc.relation.urlhttp://cid.oxfordjournals.org//cgi/reprint/57/9/1351?ijkey=56xNTA/HM44tA&keytype=ref&siteid=cid-
dc.rightsArchived with thanks to Oxford University Press and Public Health Ethicsen_GB
dc.subjectOtheren_GB
dc.titleIn search of the 'new informal legitimacy' of Médecins Sans Frontièresen
dc.contributor.departmentUnité de Recherche sur les Enjeux et Pratiques Humanitaires (UREPH), Médecins Sans Frontières-Switzerlanden_GB
dc.identifier.journalPublic Health Ethicsen_GB
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