The Right to Health in an Era of Privatisation and Globalisation: National and International Perspectives
Exploring Social Rights: Between Theory and Practice, Daphne Barak-Erez & Aeyal Gross eds., 289-339 (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2007)
51 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2017
Date Written: 2007
What is more important to a person than their health? Harm to a person's health, whether the result of illness, accident, or intentional injury by another, is likely to cause pain and suffering and perhaps even death. Emerson's declaration 'The first wealth is health!' expresses well the centrality of health in people's lives. It seems that health is one of the most valuable assets a person possesses and its preservation is of supreme importance.
Any conception of human rights intended to protect the things most vital for a person's existence in the world and their ability to live a life of dignity and equality, free of degradation and with the capacity to make the most meaningful choices in life, will accord health a prominent status.
In light of this importance of health in a person's life, it could be expected to take a central place in the canon of human rights. But for many years, the right to health has been relegated to the 'stepchild' status generally assigned to social or so-called 'second generation' rights. The traditional development of the conception of human rights as consumed primarily by civil and political rights has not side-stepped the right to health. In the international arena, even though the right to health was defined more than a half century ago, the different human rights frameworks have been slow to address it, echoing the traditional treatment of other social rights.
However, recent years have seen an increase in awareness regarding social rights in general and the right to health specifically. The discussion of the right to health has expanded at the international and national levels.
Keywords: Social Rights; Health Care; The Right to Health
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