Afterword: Human Rights and the Science of Suffering

  • Sandra L. Bloom


The author of this final chapter is a psychiatrist whose expertise includes a deep understanding of the impact of traumatic stress on individuals, groups, and organizations. She calls this understanding the “science of suffering” and in doing so ties together traumatic stress studies and human rights advocacy as two inseparable discourses, functioning at two different levels within any society—the first focusing on alleviation of suffering, the other on the prevention of suffering. She reviews the changing relationship between these two discourses over time showing how that relationship has shifted depending on dominant themes within the psychiatric profession as psychiatry moves toward and then away from grappling with the social determinants of health that are irrevocably tied to human rights.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra L. Bloom
    • 1
  1. 1.Health Management and Policy, Dornsife School of Public HealthDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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