Right To Health

Health Hygiene & Sanitation

Lesson 02 : Definition Of Health And Community Health

Right To Health

Right to health was the last to be proclaimed in the constitutions of most countries of the world. Universal Declaration of human rights established a declaration in 1948, ‘Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well being of himself and his family’. The preamble to the WHO constitution also affirms that it is one of the fundamental rights of every human being to enjoy “the highest attainable standard of health”.

Some countries have used the term right to health protection which is assured by a comprehensive system of social insurance that provides material security in cases of illness or accidents and free medical education, medicaments and other necessary materials and the right to be cared for by society in old-age and invalidity.

In many societies health is no longer accepted as charity or previledge of a few but as a right for all. However, in cases of limited resources the government will be unable to provide all needed health services. Under such circumstances, the aspirations of people should be satisfied by giving them equal right to available health care services.

The concept “right to health” encompasses

  • Right to medical care
  • Right to responsibility for health
  • Right to healthy environment
  • Right to food
  • Right to procreate or not
  • Right of the deceased persons (determination of death, autopsies, abortion etc.)
  • Right to die.

Many of these are debatable and not accepted in toto. The lawyers, ethicists and physicians have to formulate general outline of what is acceptable and what is not, in the human society.

Last modified: Monday, 23 April 2012, 5:48 AM