Book Brief: The Right to Health

Gunilla Backman, ed.
Studentlitteratur, 2012
ISBN 9789144067803
368 pages

The Right to Health, edited by Gunilla Backman, expounds on the central theme that a functioning, accessible, and non-discriminatory health system is necessary for the realization of the right to health. The student guide illuminates the various disciplines involved in the practical applications of this concept, including the fields of health, human rights, law and ethics. Based on Backman’s law course “Theory and Practice of Health and Human Rights,” the goal of the book is to equip students with a basic understanding of these disciplines and how they can interact to improve health outcomes and create stronger health systems.

The chapters are written by experts in their respective fields, and the first section of the book introduces a theoretical overview of the international human rights legal system and the philosophical theories of nationalism and cosmopolitanism in relation to health-related international obligations. The second section applies the right-based approach to health theories from the previous section to case studies, ranging from maternal mortality in Peru and the global neglect of those suffering from mental disability. The book illuminates the nexus of medicine, public health, ethics, law, and the right to health.