The Right to Health: Expanding the Scope of Prevention Teaching Teaching Prevention 2013 Annual Meeting of the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research March 11, 2013 Robert S. Lawrence, MD
Universal Declaration of Human Rights• Adopted by United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948 – Represented aspirations of founders of the United Nations – Staked out domain for human rights
Article 3• Everyone has the right to – Life – Liberty – And security of person
Article 22• Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international cooperation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each state, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality
Article 25• Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing, medical care, and necessary social services Continued
Article 25– … and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age, or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control Continued
Article 25• Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance – All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection
United Nations CovenantsUN proposed two covenants on December 16, 1966• International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights• International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Continued
International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights Article 12 • The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health Continued
Article 12 (cont)• The steps to be taken by the States Parties to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this right shall include those necessary for: a. The provision for the reduction of the stillbirth rate and of infant mortality and for the healthy development of the child Continued
Article 12 (cont)b. The improvement of all aspects of environmental and industrial hygiene Continued
Article 12 (cont)c. The prevention, treatment, and control of epidemic, endemic, occupational, and other diseases Continued
Article 12 (cont)d. The creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness
Respect, Protect, and Fulfil• 1999 UN Economic and Social Council, Twentieth Session (a UN Charter Body)• General Comment 12 on the Right to Adequate Food (Article 11 ICESCR)• The Right imposes three types or levels of obligations on States parties: – The obligation to respect – The obligation to protect – The obligation to fulfil, which incorporates the obligations to facilitate and to provide
2000 UN Economic and Social Council, Twenty-second Session General Comment 14 on the Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health• The right to health includes the right to a system of health protection• The right to health is closely related and dependent upon other rights, including the rights to human dignity, non discrimination, equality, education, housing, privacy, access to information, and freedom of association• The right to health extends beyond health-care services to the underlying determinants of health (access to safe and potable water, sanitation, food, housing, education, and healthy occupational and environmental conditions)
Dimensions of the Right to Health (UN, 2002) Availability Acceptability Right to Health Accessibility QualitySource: United Nations (2000) General Comment No. 14 on the right to health
Availability“Public health and health-care facilities, goodsand services, as well as programmes, have to beavailable in sufficient quantity within the Stateparty”
Acceptability“All health facilities, goods and services must berespectful of medical ethics and culturallyappropriate, i.e. respectful of the culture ofindividuals, minorities, peoples and communities,sensitive to gender and life-cycle requirements, aswell as being designed to respect confidentialityand improve the health status of those concerned”
Quality“As well as being culturally acceptable, healthfacilities, goods and services must also bescientifically and medically appropriate and ofgood quality”
AccessibilityNon-discrimination “Health facilities, goods and services must be accessible to all, especially the most vulnerable or marginalized sections of the population”Physical accessibility “Health facilities, goods and services must be within safe physical reach for all sections of the population, especially vulnerable or marginalized groups”
Accessibility (cont’d)Economic accessibility (Affordability) “Payment for health-care services, as well as services related to the determinants of health, has to be based on equity, ensuring that these services, whether privately or publicly provided, are affordable for all, including socially disadvantaged groups”Information accessibility “Accessibility includes the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas concerning health issues”
Article 12.2 (b). The right to healthy natural and workplace environments• The improvement of all aspects of environmental and industrial hygiene (art. 12.2 (b)) comprises, inter alia, preventive measures in respect of occupational accidents and diseases; the requirement to ensure an adequate supply of safe and potable water and basic sanitation; the prevention and reduction of the populations exposure to harmful substances such as radiation and harmful chemicals or other detrimental environmental conditions that directly or indirectly impact upon human health.
Article 12.2 (b). The right to healthy natural and workplace environments• Furthermore, industrial hygiene refers to the minimization, so far as is reasonably practicable, of the causes of health hazards inherent in the working environment. Article 12.2 (b) also embraces adequate housing and safe and hygienic working conditions, an adequate supply of food and proper nutrition, and discourages the abuse of alcohol, and the use of tobacco, drugs and other harmful substances.
Article 12.2 (c). The right to prevention, treatment and control of diseases• The prevention, treatment and control of epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases requires the establishment of prevention and education programmes for behavior-related health concerns such as sexually transmitted diseases, in particular HIV/AIDS, and those adversely affecting sexual and reproductive health, and the promotion of social determinants of good health, such as environmental safety, education, economic development and gender equity.
Article 12.2 (c). The right to prevention, treatment and control of diseases• The control of diseases refers to States’ individual and joint efforts to, inter alia, make available relevant technologies, using and improving epidemiological surveillance and data collection on a disaggregated basis, the implementation or enhancement of immunization programmes and other strategies of infectious disease control.