The area of ‘health and human rights’ is a new and emerging field of law. Taking a ‘health and human rights approach’ means using international, European and national human rights law in relation to a wide range of health issues, including access to health care, health data protection, the quality of pharmaceutical drugs, as well as medical-ethical issues such as abortion and euthanasia.
There is, however, still very little understanding of the various and multiple legal interfaces between ‘health’ and ‘human rights’, and of the implications of this approach for legal research and practice. To fill this gap, this volume seeks to outline the legal content and implications of this new area of the law. Its focus is on Europe, as the European context raises specific questions, not only from a legal and a political perspective, but also in terms of health issues and health outcomes.
The book first discusses how the European institutions (the Council of Europe and the European Union) deal with health and human rights. Subsequently, it describes the meaning of the most important human rights involved in this area, and it addresses a variety of themes and approaches that engage with health and human rights links, including patient rights, reproductive health, and issues surrounding death and dying. Lastly, it discusses the position of a number of vulnerable groups, in particular, disabled persons, the elderly, and children.
The book brings together contributions from human rights and health law experts from four different countries in Northern Europe. The authors have engaged in prolific dialogue about the issues involved, and they have made an interesting attempt to unify the spheres of human rights law and health law. This has resulted in a number of truly interconnected chapters that together give a solid overview of the legal perspectives of ‘health and human rights’.
This volume is of interest to lecturers in law who seek to teach a course in health and human rights, and their students. It creates clarity for those who wish to undertake further study in this area. Further, it can guide practitioners through their health-related cases, while law and policymakers in Europe and elsewhere can learn more about the human rights and comparative legal dimensions of the health issues that they engage with.
About the book
‘This is thorough and well written book which gives great insight into the rationale and practice in relation to the statutory rights of health benefits.’
J H Iversen in Tidsskr Nor Legeforen 2012; 132: 2086
‘[A] convincing legal argument and framework for applying human rights law to various health issues […] Inclusion of legal details about human rights, and extensive referencing, renders this book invaluable for law and policy makers. Public health practitioners will also find this an interesting and informative read with a solid legal foundation.’
X. on www.hhropenforum.org (14 February 2013)
‘An excellent work that fills a void, not only in education, but also in legal practice.’
J. Dute in Tijdsschrift voor Gezondheidsrecht 2012.
About the editors:
Brigit Toebes is a Lecturer in international law at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
Mette Hartlev is a Professor in health law at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Aart Hendriks is a Professor in health law at Leiden University/Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), the Netherlands.
Janne Rothmar Herrmann is an Associate Professor in biolaw at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Introduction: Health and Human Rights in Europe (p. 1)