Letter to the Editor: The Rule of Law as a Social Determinant of Health

O.B.K. Dingake This letter to the editor is based on the author’s address to the World Justice Forum in The Hague, July 10-13, 2017. The author spoke in his capacity as co-chair of the African Think Tank on HIV, Health, and Social Justice and president of the Africa Judges Forum on HIV, Human Rights, and the Law. It has been submitted in response to the Health and Human Rights Journal…

Letter to the Editor Response: Much to Debate About Conscientious Objection

Wendy Chavkin, Laurel Swerdlow, and Jocelyn Fifield Because Christian Fiala and Joyce Arthur absolutely oppose conscientious objection (CO) to abortion, they reject our very research question.1 We were not debating the desirability of CO but, rather, evaluating the efficacy of laws and policies that regulate the practice of CO in countries in which CO to abortion is permitted by law. Regardless of Fiala and Arthur’s opposition, CO is lodged in…

Letter to the Editor: Refusal to Treat Patients Does Not Work in Any Country—Even If Misleadingly Labelled “Conscientious Objection”

Christian Fiala and Joyce H. Arthur We would like to point out some serious problems and contradictions in the study “Regulation of Conscientious Objection to Abortion: An International Comparative Multiple-Case Study,” by Wendy Chavkin, Laurel Swerdlow, and Jocelyn Fifield (Health and Human Rights Journal, vol. 19, no. 1, 2017). The study purports to show that it is possible to accommodate health care providers’ “conscientious objection” (CO) to legal abortion while…

Canada’s Mining Industry in Guatemala and the Right to Health of Indigenous Peoples

Leah Shipton Congratulations to Leah Shipton—this essay is a winner in the Harvard FXB Health and Human Rights Consortium 2017 Student Essay Competition. Leah Shipton is a Master of Public Health student at the University of Toronto. Introduction Guatemala entered the capitalist world economy in 1523 by force of Spanish conquistadors, emerging first as an agricultural export economy and then, in response to globalization, moving toward a resource-based economy.1 The…

HIV Criminalization Laws and the Right to Health

Neiloy Sircar Congratulations to Neiloy Sircar—this essay is a winner in the Harvard FXB Health and Human Rights Consortium 2017 Student Essay Competition. Neiloy Sircar is an LLM student at the O’Neill Institute, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC. This paper discusses the harmful impacts of archaic criminal laws poorly drafted to punish the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Many of these laws emerged in the 1980s and early 1990s,…

Do Children Have the Right to Contribute to Medical Decisions about their own Care? An Analysis of Policy and Practice in the United Kingdom and the United States

Aiden Ford Congratulations to Aiden Ford—this essay is a winner in the Harvard FXB Health and Human Rights Consortium 2017 Student Essay Competition. Aiden Ford recently graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Physiology & Neurobiology and Neurodevelopment & Health. Introduction Pediatric medicine can be considered a three-way partnership among physicians, parents, and the child-patient, a characterization evoking values of negotiation, compromise, and discussion. However, is this partnership…

How Drug Control Policy and Practice Undermine Access to Controlled Medicines

Naomi Burke-Shyne, Joanne Csete, Duncan Wilson, Edward Fox, Daniel Wolfe, and Jennifer J. K. Rasanathan Abstract  Drug conventions serve as the cornerstone for domestic drug laws and impose a dual obligation upon states to prevent the misuse of controlled substances while ensuring their adequate availability for medical and scientific purposes. Despite the mandate that these obligations be enforced equally, the dominant paradigm enshrined in the drug conventions is an enforcement-heavy…

How Drug Control Policy and Practice Undermine Access to Controlled Medicines

Naomi Burke-Shyne, Joanne Csete, Duncan Wilson, Edward Fox, Daniel Wolfe, and Jennifer J. K. Rasanathan Abstract  Drug conventions serve as the cornerstone for domestic drug laws and impose a dual obligation upon states to prevent the misuse of controlled substances while ensuring their adequate availability for medical and scientific purposes. Despite the mandate that these obligations be enforced equally, the dominant paradigm enshrined in the drug conventions is an enforcement-heavy…

Drug Policies and Indigenous Peoples

Julian Burger and Mary Kapron Abstract This paper identifies the principal concerns of indigenous peoples with regard to current international treaties on certain psychoactive substances and policies to control and eradicate their production, trafficking, and sale. Indigenous peoples have a specific interest in the issue since their traditional lands have become integrated over time into the large-scale production of coca, opium poppy, and cannabis crops, in response to high demand…

Human Rights in the World Health Organization: Views of the Director-General Candidates

At this year’s World Health Assembly (May 22–31, 2017), member states will vote for a new Director-General to lead the World Health Organization (WHO) over the next five years. At this critically important time in global health—as the world looks to WHO for leadership in the face of globalized pandemics, health insecurity, mass population displacement and protracted humanitarian crises, climate change, and the looming threat of anti-microbial resistance—we asked each…