The Right to Health—Its Conceptual Foundations

John Tobin

in The Right to Health in International Law

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199603299
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731662 | DOI:
The Right to Health—Its Conceptual Foundations

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This chapter seeks to determine whether the right to health, as expressed in international law, can be justified within a theory of human rights or is simply a ‘vacuous concept’ that should as has been suggested by some commentators, be demoted from the list of human rights recognized under international law. It concludes that such a justification does exist, based on what is described as a social interest theory of rights. It is argued that, although not completely theorized, there is an overlapping consensus as to the conceptual foundations of the right to health in international law, which is derived from the social process that led to the recognition of a person's interest in achieving the highest attainable standard of health as the basis for a human right.

Keywords: human rights; theoretical justification; libertarianism; legitimacy; economic rights; social rights

Chapter.  18343 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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