The Medical Profession and Human Rights: Handbook for a Changing Agenda
- By: Jason O'Neale Roach
Gross violations of human rights occur in many parts of the world. The nature of the media ensures that many of these are brought to our attention. But the need for equality of rights goes beyond these gross violations. The World Health Organization declared in 1970 that “health is a human right.” Clearly, doctors have a role to play in making this a reality. The BMA's new report on human rights and the medical profession begins to examine the implications.
It emphasises that doctors' skills are an essential early warning system for human rights abuse. As doctors we will face many subtle erosions of human rights and are called on to realise the full potential of our role in widening debate on these issues. For example, since the introduction in 2000 of the Human Rights Act 1998, lawyers and ethicists began to consider some traditional ethical issues, such as rationing