Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: May 01, 1997
Binding: Hardback Book
Availability: 10-15 Days
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Historically, the fields of public health and human rights have remained largely separate. The AIDS pandemic, however, made it clear that a complex relationship exists between the two fields. Women and children have proven to be extremely vulnerable to infection with HIV due to their inability to protect themselves in intimate relationships, their sexual exploitation, and their lack of economic and educational alternatives. On the other hand, coercive government policies aimed at controlling the AIDS pandemic often infringe on the rights of individuals known or suspected of having AIDS, and decrease the effectiveness of public health measures. Protecting and promoting human rights is becoming one of the key means of preserving the health of individuals and populations. A penetrating analysis of the close relationship between public health and human rights, this book makes a compelling case for synergy between the two fields. Using the AIDS pandemic as a lens, the authors demonstrate that human health cannot be maintained without respect for the dignity and rights of persons, and that human rights cannot be deemed adequate and comprehensive without ensuring the health of individuals and populations. In the course of their analysis, Gostin and Lazzarini tackle some of the most vexing issues of our time, including the universality of human rights and the counter-claims of cultural relativity. Taking a cue from environmental impact assessments, they propose a human rights impact assessment for examining health policies. Such a tool will be invaluable for evaluating real-world public health problems and is bound to become essential for teaching human rights in schools of public health, medicine, government, and law. The volume critically examines such issues as HIV testing, screening, partner notification, isolation, quarantine, and criminalization of persons with HIV/AIDS, all within the framework of international human rights law.