John Tasioulas of King's College London examines the philosophic underpinnings of the idea of a global human right to health. According to Tasioulas, there are two demands of justice on health policy: individual rights and the promotion of the common good. He notes that the right to health does not simply serve our interest in being healthy. It serves our further interests in the sense of what health makes possible for us to achieve. According to Tasioulas, there is a danger, however, to defining a right to health in an overly expansive way, such as to include complete mental and physical well-being. Instead, he argues, the right to health should be defined by its scope of its obligations, not by all of the interests it serves. Tasioulas says that in some cases there can be sufficient individual interest in a common good to make that good a right, but that this reasoning cannot be extended to all things that are in the common good.
This video is by the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School
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