THE RIGHT OF EVERYONE TO THE ENJOYMENT OF THE HIGHEST ATTAINABLE STANDARD OF PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH.
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) further elaborates a number of the rights that are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 12 (1) of that Covenant reads: “The States …….. recognize the right of everyone tot he enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health”.
But what is the meaning of the right to health? It is clear that the right to health is not to be understood as a right to be healthy; the State can never ensure the good health of everyone. How should then the right to health be understood. What are the rights and the entitlements, but also the responsibilities of the individual; what obligations flow from the right to health for the State and the government? Those are questions which require our full attention, in particular also in the years 2020 and 2021, the years of the Covid-19 pandemic .
Does the right to health imply that we have to restructure the way in which we are living together: the one and a half meter society, an obligatory health app, selection of patients qualifying for intensive care in hospitals, hybrid education. These and many other questions will bet he focus of the 2021 Maastricht Human Rights Prize. We wish the participants every success and a lot of inspiration.
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