Public Health and Social Jusitce

Public Health and Social Justice Reader

Now Available: Public Health and Social Justice Reader (Jossey Bass – Wiley, 2013)

Order the book at or by phone 800/956-7739 (Use code MPH20 at checkout for 20% discount). Also available on,,, etc.

Public Health and Social Justice, by Martin Donohoe, ISBN: 978-1-1180-8814-2, Paperback, 656 pages, October 2012, $85.00

Scroll down for endorsements and table of contents.



In this ambitious text, Dr. Martin Donohoe intertwines literature across disciplines and genres to demonstrate economic, political, and historical etiologies of diseases that are commonly—and fatally—misconstrued as purely biological in origin. Students and professionals will find this is a useful, accessible primer on the contentious social

landscapes that distribute disease unequally within and across societies. Dr. Donohoe’s compilation unifies ostensibly distant corners of our broad discipline under the common pursuit of health as an achievable, non-negotiable human right. In this reader, Dr. Donohoe endeavors beyond analysis to impart his impassioned suggestions for moving closer to the vision of health equity to which he has dedicated his admirable career.

— Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, Kolokotrones University Professor and Chair, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; and co-founder, Partners In Health


This superb book is the best work yet concerning the relationships between public health and social justice. Martin Donohoe’s profound contributions to the field make him uniquely qualified as the book’s editor and as the author of several key chapters. Everyone concerned about justice in public health will find the book informative and inspirational.

Howard Waitzkin, MD, PhD, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of New Mexico


“Social justice provides the passion that fuels public health. Martin Donohoe’s book gives public health professionals, researchers and advocates the essential knowledge they need to capture the energy that social justice brings to our enterprise.”

Nicholas Freudenberg, DrPH, Distinguished Professor of Public Health at the City University of New York School of Public Health at Hunter College.

I know of few people who have as passionate a commitment to such a broad range of social justice issues as does Martin Donohoe.  His personal concern for the human beings who suffer is always evident in his presentations at conferences, in his writing, and in the art with which he illustrates his points.

Martin’s chapters are not a theoretical view from afar but the perspective of a humanitarian practicing the art of personal medicine on a grand scale. The breadth of topics he has selected to include provide a strong overview of social justice in medicine and public health for readers new to the topic. For many long-time public health professionals, the book serves as a challenging reminder of the reasons they entered the profession. For all of us in public health, Martin’s book serves as a stimulus to stay true to our core mission: social justice.

William Wiist, DHSc, MPH, MS, Senior Scientist and Head of Office of Health & Society Studies, Interdisciplinary Health Policy Institute, Northern Arizona University


Martin Donohoe, MD is a renaissance man in the modern era with an amazing knowledge of the social determinants of health and the role of physician as advocate. This book is a tremendous contribution to the literature of
social justice and public health and only Dr. Donohoe’s passion for open source material via his website and his dedication to finding solutions to these problems could have ultimately brought this compendium together. This
book will be utilized in many fields because of its breadth and depth.

Catherine Thomasson, MD, Executive Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility


“A great book….should become a much-needed classic.”

— Sherman Mellinkoff, MD, Dean Emeritus, UCLA School of Medicine


“Finally, a book that wonderfully illustrates the connections between social justice and health that I can enthusiastically recommend to all health professionals who care about the fate of humanity, and to medical students who do not want to be the doctors overseeing our extinction.”

Patch Adams, Gesundheit Institute


“A compelling and provocative collection of essays that provides an in-depth examination and critical analysis of the impact that a health system founded on principles of equity and equal opportunity can have on society’s well-being. This book will serve as an essential reference for students, teachers and practitioners in the health and human services who are committed to social responsibility.”

Shafik Dharamsi, PhD, Faculty of Medicine and Liu Institute for Global Issues, Global Health Network, University of British Columbia


“The considerable and extraordinary breadth and scope of this collection tackles head on some of the most critical public health and social issues of our times.  This groundbreaking book  advocates for human rights and dignity for all…and leaves readers with a sense of optimism and hope that through knowledge, empowerment, and increased awareness change is possible.”

— C.L. McLean, Publisher, Editor, International Journal of the Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice


“This book provides multiple detailed examples of assaults on social justice. This is not a book on theory; it is a book about practice…a call to arms to public health professionals.”

Peter Sainsbury, PhD, Past President of the Public Health Association of Australia, Director of Population Health in South Western Sydney and Sydney Local Health Districts, Sydney University School of Public Health


“This volume…adds a proud chapter to the long humanitarian history of public health and its tireless quest to focus attention and resources on reducing the social injustices that affect the welfare of our most vulnerable citizens.”

Daniel George, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities, Penn State Hershey College of Medicine and Peter Whitehouse,MD, Professor of Neurology, Case Western Reserve University, University Hospital Case Medical Center


Public Health and Social Justice Reader


PART I Human Rights, Social Justice, Economics, Poverty, and Health Care; 1. Universal Declaration of Human Rights; 2. Public Health as Social Justice, Dan E. Beauchamp; 3. What We Mean by Social Determinants of Health, Vicente Navarro; 4. The Magic Mountain: Trickle-Down Economics in a Philippine Garbage Dump, Matthew Power; 5. Family Medicine Should Encourage the Development of Luxury Practices: Negative Position, Martin Donohoe

PART TWO Special Populations; 6. Homelessness in the United States: History, Epidemiology, Health Issues, Women, and Public Policy, Martin Donohoe; 7. Historical and Contemporary Factors Contributing to the Plight of Migrant Farmworkers in the United States, Safina Koreishi, Martin Donohoe; 8. The Persistence of American Indian Health Disparities, David S. Jones; 9. Prejudice and the Medical Profession: A Five-Year Update, Peter A. Clark; 10. Sexual and Gender Minority Health: What We Know and What Needs to Be Done, Kenneth H. Mayer, Judith B. Bradford, Harvey J. Makadon, Ron Stall, Hilary Goldhammer, Stewart Landers; 11. Mental Disorders, Health Inequalities, and Ethics: A Global Perspective, Emmanuel M. Ngui, Lincoln Khasakhala, David Nndetei, Laura Weiss Roberts; 12. Incarceration Nation: Health and Welfare in the Prison System in the United States, Martin Donohoe

PART THREE Women’s Health; 13. Individual and Societal Forms of Violence Against Women in the United States and the Developing World: An Overview, Martin Donohoe; 14. Obstacles to Abortion in the United States, Martin Donohoe; 15. The Way It Was, Eleanor Cooney

PART FOUR Obesity, Tobacco, and Suicide by Firearms: The Modern Epidemics; 16. Weighty Matters: Public Health Aspects of the Obesity Epidemic, Martin Donohoe; 17. Cigarettes: The Other Weapons of Mass Destruction, Martin Donohoe; 18. Guns and Suicide in the United States, Matthew Miller, David Hemenway;

PART FIVE Food: Safety, Security, and Disease; 19. Factory Farms as Primary Polluter, Martin Donohoe; 20. Genetically Modified Foods: Health and Environmental Risks and the Corporate Agribusiness Agenda, Martin Donohoe; 21. Opposition to the Use of Hormone Growth Promoters in Beef and Dairy Cattle Production (American Public Health Association Policy Statement, Adopted 2009), Elanor Starmer, David Wallinga, Rick North, Martin Donohoe;

PART SIX Environmental Health; 22. Roles and Responsibilities of Health Care Professionals in Combating Environmental Degradation and Social Injustice: Education and Activism, Martin Donohoe; 23. Global Warming: A Public Health Crisis Demanding Immediate Action, Martin Donohoe; 24. Flowers, Diamonds, and Gold: The Destructive Public Health, Human Rights, and Environmental Consequences of Symbols of Love, Martin Donohoe; 25. Is a Modest Health Care System Possible? Andrew Jameton

PART SEVEN War and Violence; 26. The Health Consequences of the Diversion of Resources to War and Preparation for War, Victor W. Sidel, Barry S. Levy; 27. A Brief Summary of the Medical Impacts of Hiroshima, Robert Vergun, Martin Donohoe, Catherine Thomasson, Pamela Vergun; 28. Medical Science Under Dictatorship, Leo Alexander; 29. War, Rape, and Genocide: Never Again? Martin Donohoe

PART EIGHT Corporations and Public Health; 30. Combating Corporate Control: Protecting Education, Media, Legislation, and Health Care, Martin Donohoe; 31. The Pharmaceutical Industry: Friend or Foe? Jennifer R. Niebyl; 32. Unnecessary Testing in Obstetrics, Gynecology, and General Medicine: Causes and Consequences of the Unwarranted Use of Costly and Unscientific (yet Profitable) Screening Modalities, Martin Donohoe; 33. Urine Trouble: Practical, Legal, and Ethical Issues Surrounding Mandated Drug Testing of Physicians, Martin Donohoe

PART NINE Achieving Social Justice in Health Care Through Education and Activism; 34. Promoting Public Understanding of Population Health, Stephen Bezruchka; 35. Some Ideas for a Common Agenda, Peter Montague, Carolyn Raffensperger; 36. Taking On Corporate Power—and Winning, Robert Weissman; 37. US Health Care: Single-Payer or Market Reform, David U. Himmelstein, Steffie Woolhandler; 38. US Health Professionals Oppose War, Walter J. Lear; 39. The Residency Program in Social Medicine of Montefiore Medical Center: 37 Years of Mission-Driven, Interdisciplinary Training in Primary Care, Population Health, and Social Medicine, A. H. Strelnick, Debbie Swiderski, Alice Fornari, Victoria Gorski, Eliana Korin, Philip Ozuah, Janet M. Townsend, Peter A. Selwyn; 40. Stories and Society: Using Literature to Teach Medical Students About Public Health and Social Justice, Martin Donohoe