Book Brief: Health and Human Rights in Europe

Brigit Toebes, Mette Hartlev, Aart Hendriks, and Janne R. Herrmann (eds.)
Intersentia (April 2012)
ISBN 9789800001510
310 pages

The editors of Health and Human Rights in Europe provide a convincing legal argument and framework for applying human rights law to various health issues, addressing the idea of “health and human rights” from international, European, and national public health and legal perspectives. In this broad analysis of health and human rights, focus is placed on European-specific protections, the meaning of health-related rights and bioethical implications, health inequalities in vulnerable European populations, and the scope of European considerations for the right to health.

By applying the right to health to specific health issues, such as reproductive health, physician-assisted suicide, children’s health, and the rights of people with disabilities, the editors demonstrate health and human rights issues and laws in practice. The legal grounding of health rights in international bodies, the European Union, and domestic law also demonstrates the universal nature of these rights. In linking the right to health to medical and health law, public health, and patients’ rights, contributors to this volume provide further evidence for the cross-cutting importance of these issues. The history of human rights and rights-based theoretical frameworks inform the case studies throughout the book.

Inclusion of legal details about human rights, and extensive referencing, renders this book invaluable for law and policy makers. Public health practitioners will also find this an interesting and informative read with a solid legal foundation.