Carolyn Moxley Rouse '87: Why I Believe in Death Panels and Other Imperfect Roads to Health Care Justice

Carolyn Moxley Rouse '87

Carolyn Moxley Rouse '87, a professor of anthropology and faculty associate in the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University, focuses on the experience of an African American family she followed in the 1990s. Rouse explores the question: Given what we know about racial health disparities, did the actions of the hospital constitute health care justice?

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Carolyn Moxley Rouse '87, a medical anthropologist and faculty associate in the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University, delves into the complicated ethical border between more medicine as a solution for ameliorating racial health care disparities and evidence-based approaches (popularly known as "death panels") that allocate resources according to particular types of evidence. She explores these issues through examination of the experience of an African American family she followed in the 1990s that was living in the projects in South Central, Los Angeles.

Rouse specializes in medical anthropology, visual anthropology, resistance, critical race theory and consciousness. She has done extensive fieldwork with African American converts to Sunni Islam, as well as with children and adolescents who have long term illnesses and/or disabilities.

Rouse is the author of Engaged Surrender: African American Women and Islam (2004) and Uncertain Suffering: Racial Health Care Disparities and Sickle Cell Disease (2009). She is finishing a co-written book entitled Televised Redemption: The Media Production of Black Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Her current book project, Development Hubris: Adventures Trying to Save the World, examines discourses of charity and development and is tied to her project building a school in a fishing village in Ghana. In addition to being an anthropologist, Rouse is also a filmmaker. She has produced, directed, and/or edited a number of documentaries including Chicks in White Satin (1994), a film about a lesbian wedding; and Purification to Prozac: Treating Mental Illness in Bali (1998).

Rouse's talk was co-sponsored by co-sponsored by the Economics Department, Political Science Department, Black Studies Program, Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, Sociology & Anthropology Department, and the Alumni Office.