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Human rights in patient care

Edited by Tamar Ezer and Judy Overall
Public Health Reviews

EthicsLegal, ethical, and human rights norms are an increasingly important component of the delivery of quality medical care. For society’s most marginalized, health care settings are too often places of punishment, coercion, or violations of basic rights to consent and confidentiality, rather than places of treatment and care. At the same time, health practitioners may be unaware of how to incorporate ethics and human rights norms into their work and may suffer from a lack of independence, decent working conditions, and due process protections.

The concept of human rights in patient care brings together the rights of both patients and health care providers and refers to the application of general human rights principles to the context of patient care. It focuses on systemic issues and the role of the state.

This article collection for Public Health Reviews explores various aspects of human rights in patient care. This includes state responsibility in private health facilities, intersections with palliative care and reproductive health, and dimensions relevant to particular populations, including Roma, people who use drugs, and transgender individuals.

Publication charges for this collection were funded by ASPHER. Articles have undergone the journal's standard peer-review process overseen by the Guest Editors, who declare no competing interests.

  1. This piece introduces the special Public Health Reviews collection on human rights in patient care (HRPC). Work on HRPC dates back to 2007 and an Open Society Foundations initiative in collaboration with partn...

    Authors: Tamar Ezer and Judy Overall
    Citation: Public Health Reviews 2020 41:32
  2. This paper examines palliative care within the human rights in patient care framework, which clarifies state obligations and addresses the rights of both patients and providers. In the context of palliative ca...

    Authors: Gabriela Barros de Luca, Violeta Zopunyan, Naomi Burke-Shyne, Anahit Papikyan and Davit Amiryan
    Citation: Public Health Reviews 2017 38:18
  3. The Human Rights in Patient Care framework embraces general human rights principles applicable to both patients and health care providers in the delivery of health care. Under this framework, states have a dut...

    Authors: Ximena Andión Ibañez and Tamar Dekanosidze
    Citation: Public Health Reviews 2017 38:17
  4. There has been a long history of subjecting marginalized women to forced and coerced sterilization. In recent years, the practice has been documented in countries in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and ...

    Authors: Priti Patel
    Citation: Public Health Reviews 2017 38:15
  5. This article explores how human rights education in the health professions can build knowledge, change culture, and empower advocacy. Through a study of educational initiatives in the field, the article analyz...

    Authors: Joanna N. Erdman
    Citation: Public Health Reviews 2017 38:14
  6. There exists a profound disconnect and misunderstanding of the utility of human rights in the practice of medicine that demands urgent attention. The United Nations Special Rapporteur, Dainius Pūras, reflects ...

    Authors: Dainius Pūras
    Citation: Public Health Reviews 2017 38:9