The right to health : theory and practice

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Health and human rights law (the right to health) are two very powerful and influential professional areas. Their objectives are similar: to improve the well-being of the whole population and to ensure that everyone, without discrimination, has access to quality health services. Although there has been an increased understanding of the meaning and tools of the right to health, its practical application is poorly understood and has been difficult to convey. Health workers and policy makers ask questions such as, if human rights (the right to health) are practical, what are the tools and how do you use them? Will a rights-based approach improve the health and well-being of the population? This student guide, written for and by health and human rights students and professionals, aims to present the foundation in public health and human rights, with a specific focus on the right to health. Health cases from developed and developing countries are used to show how different fields (health, ethics, law, and the right to health), broadly defined, interact or can interact with one another to improve health outcomes. It presents what some of the right to health and tools are, how to apply them.