Involuntary Civil Commitment for Substance Use Disorders in Puerto Rico: Neglected Rights Violations and Implications for Legal Reform

Caroline M. Parker, Oscar E. Miranda-Miller, and Carmen Albizu-García Abstract Laws facilitating the involuntary civil commitment (ICC) of people with substance use disorders vary considerably internationally and across the United States. Puerto Rico, a colonial territory of the United States since 1898, currently harbors the most punitive ICC legislation in the country. It is the only place in the United States where self-sufficient adults who pose no grave danger to…

Reparations for Harms Experienced in Residential Aged Care

Linda Steele and Kate Swaffer Abstract This paper explores the possibility of reparations for harms suffered by people in residential aged care, focusing on experiences of people with dementia. We first explain how systemic and structural harms occur within residential aged care and outline how they constitute human rights violations. Using Australia as a case study, we then consider the limitations of court-based approaches to pursuit of redress and the…

STUDENT ESSAY: Is Compulsory COVID-19 Vaccination a Violation of Human Rights?

Aaron Chia In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK Government passed the Coronavirus Act 2020 (CA), which implemented a number of emergency powers, allowing public officials to take action in specific situations in order to contain and slow down the spread of the virus as well as ease the burden on frontline staff.[1] Examples of these emergency powers include: the capability for public officials to test, isolate, and detain…

COVID-19 Clinical Bias, Persons with Disabilities, and Human Rights

Volume 22/2, December 2020, pp 285 – 290 PDF Omar Sultan Haque and Michael Ashley Stein Persons with disabilities have historically been discriminated against by society, including fulfilment of the right to equal access to health care.[1] The more egregious practices, historically as well as today, include outright denials of access to health care, involuntary sterilization, forced institutionalization, coerced treatment, and substituted decision-making.[2] Discrimination also occurs by more insidious practices.…

Operationalizing a Human Rights-Based Approach to Address Mistreatment against Women during Childbirth

Volume 22/1, June 2020, pp 251 – 264 PDF Christina Zampas, Avni Amin, Lucinda O’Hanlon, Alisha Bjerregaard, Hedieh Mehrtash, Rajat Khosla, and Özge Tunçalp Abstract A growing body of evidence reveals that the mistreatment of pregnant women during facility-based childbirth is occurring across the globe. As human rights bodies have increasingly recognized, numerous human rights are implicated in the context of mistreatment of women in childbirth, including the rights to…

UHC2030’s Contributions to Global Health Governance that Advance the Right to Health Care: A Preliminary Assessment

PDF Rachel Hammonds, Gorik Ooms, Moses Mulumba, and Allan Maleche Abstract The September 2019 United Nations High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) aims to mobilize top-level political support for action on UHC to advance the health Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). A driving force behind this meeting is the “UHC Movement,” led by UHC2030, which focuses on coordinating and amplifying efforts by WHO, the World Bank, civil society, and the…

PERSPECTIVE Universal Health Coverage: Are We Losing Our Way on Women’s and Children’s Health?

PDF Flavia Bustreo and Curtis Doebbler Our children are our future and one of the basic responsibilities is to care for them in the best and most compassionate manner possible.—Nelson Mandela[1] If women are denied a chance to develop their full human potential, including their potential to lead healthier and at least somewhat happier lives, is society as a whole really healthy? —Dr. Margaret Chan[2] This commentary argues that current…

Health and Human Rights’ Past: Patinating Law’s Contribution

PDF Thérèse Murphy Abstract This article argues that to be able to look forward, lawyers within the health and human rights movement need to do more looking back. It is prompted by a simple question: do we have a history of health and human rights law and lawyering? Finding nothing that qualifies, the article asks how we might fill that gap. Focusing on international human rights law, it prescribes histories…

Have Reforms Reconciled Health Rights Litigation and Priority Setting in Costa Rica?

PDF Alessandro Luciano and Alex Voorhoeve Abstract The experience of Costa Rica highlights the potential for conflicts between the right to health and fair priority setting. For example, one study found that most favorable rulings by the Costa Rican constitutional court concerning claims for medications under the right to health were either for experimental treatments or for medicines that should have low priority based on health gain per unit of…

Evaluating the Impact of Student-run Asylum Clinics in the US from 2016–2018

PDF Madison B. Sharp*, Andrew R. Milewski*, Claire Lamneck, and Katherine McKenzie Abstract Individuals applying for asylum must demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution. By documenting signs of torture and other forms of abuse, medical evaluations can provide forensic evidence to support asylum claims. The backlog of pending immigration cases in the United States recently exceeded one million. Student-run asylum medicine clinics conduct forensic evaluations to assist in the asylum…