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Our government champions human rights around the world, insisting that other countries protect human rights, even imposing sanctions for a failure to do so. Our government is not as robust in protecting rights at home.

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The right to health care has long been recognized internationally. Ironically, the origins of this right are here in the United States. Eleanor Roosevelt, however, took his work to the United Nations UN , where it was expanded and clarified.

Health is a fundamental human right

That committee codified our human rights, including, at Article 25 , the essential right to health. Since the adoption of the UDHR, every other industrialized country in the world—and many non-industrialized countries—have implemented universal health care systems. Such systems ensure that all persons within their borders enjoy their right to health care. All signatory nations to CESCR are subject to periodic review of progress on the human rights so protected.

Human rights in patient care

In preparation for these reviews, the U. Shockingly, or maybe just realistically, the U. UPR report of the U. The United States could not admit to the UN that it had made no progress on so basic and fundamental a right as health. The UDHR does not condition health upon ability to pay, citizenship, or any other condition.

The United States does. By codifying a system allowing huge corporate profits on health care as a commodity, our government has actually impaired, not improved, our right to health care. So maybe, and refreshingly, the United States was just being honest with the UN about its failure to ensure and protect the human right to health care.

This failure to protect the right to health is puzzling. The crucial and intersectional nature of that right was recognized in the s by Martin Luther King Jr. It is equally puzzling that our government has lauded, and continues to laud, the passage of the Patient Protection and ACA as a way to guarantee the right to health care. As a result of the ACA, many people, through Medicaid expansion, are now able to see a medical professional when needed.

And prior to enactment of the ACA, the death rate for lack of health care was appalling: Three people in our country died every 30 minutes for lack of health care. Since the ACA, that death rate has gone down, but it is still present. No matter how it is spun, health insurance is simply not health care. Nowhere is that contrast clearer than in personal stories of suffering. After codification of cost barriers by the ACA, people were shocked; they had been convinced this law was a reform that would actually increase access to health care. While collecting stories, I spoke to Susan in Vermont.

I was told that the ACA would let me get the health care I need. I pay my premium every month.

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June 18, Religious liberty advocates rally outside the U. Supreme Court while waiting for the Court's decision in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case. On Jan. She was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer back in We were fortunate to have comprehensive health insurance at the time, and Jeanette responded well to treatment.

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Her cancer went into remission, and everything was great. Search form Search.

Is Health Care a Human Right?

Human Rights-Based Approach to healthcare. These rights are protected by international law. How does it work? What this means for IAPO We now have a golden opportunity to achieve patient-centred health systems by using human rights-based approaches to health. Want our newsletter on the latest developments? The human rights perspective of this book enables new light to be cast upon familiar medico-legal cases and issues. As such the book provides a genuine merging of human rights law and medical law and will be of value to all students and academics studying medical law, as well as to those interested in the broader issues raised by the growing human rights culture within the UK and worldwide.

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What is attractive about it is Wicks' clear and accessible writing style, her careful structuring of arguments and her interesting - but never overwhelming - selections of further reading. It gives students a sound basis from which to explore the subject further and reach out beyond the legal debates to more traditional ethical writings. For these reasons, Human Rights and Healthcare deserves to acquire a firm place in medical law teaching.