Health Care and Intellectual Property

Topics: Human rights, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations Pages: 18 (6628 words) Published: August 24, 2012
“If we believe men have any personal rights at all as human beings, they have an absolute right to such measure of good health as society, and society alone, can give them”
-Aristotle, 4th Century B.C.
A good health in a nation’s population is not only a moral good in itself, but also a prerequisite for economic growth and sustainable development. A right to healthcare has long been recognized in most civilized societies and now accepted globally. Health is foundationally important because of its intrinsic value and singular contribution to human functioning, to individuals as well as the community as a whole, necessary for much of the joy, creativity, and productivity that a person derives from life. Lawrence O. Gostin’s definition of public health is much significant. Several themes emerge from this definition: (1) government power and duty, (2) coercion and limits on state power, (3) government's partners in the “public health system,” (4) the population focus, (5) communities and civic participation, (6) the prevention orientation, and (7) social justice. Public health can be achieved only through collective action, not through individual endeavors. The community as a whole has a stake in environmental protection, hygiene and sanitation, clean air and surface water, uncontaminated food and drinking water, safe roads and products, and control of infectious disease. It differs from medicine, which has the individual patient as its primary focus. Public health, on the other hand, seeks to understand the conditions and causes of ill health (and good health) in the populace as a whole. It seeks to assure a favorable environment in which people can maintain their health.

      Social justice captures the twin moral impulses that animate public health: to advance human well-being by improving health and to do so particularly by focusing on the needs of the most disadvantaged which create a richer understanding of public health. It stresses the fair disbursement of common advantages and sharing of common burdens known as distributive justice, this form of justice requires that government act to limit the extent to which the burden of disease falls unfairly upon the least advantaged and to ensure that the burdens of interventions themselves are distributed equitably. This principle might apply, for example, to the fair distribution of vaccines or antiviral medications during a public health emergency such as a pandemic influenza epidemic.        The notion of human rights is a noble one. The concept of natural law gave much importance to individualism and human rights. Natural law tries to draw a proper distance between individuals, the resulting principles are known as human rights.. Linking of trade and human rights has become a controversial issue not only in academia, but also in court proceedings, political discussions, and businesses.Concerns about human dignity with an emphasis on the individual paved the way to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, which marked the birth of the contemporary human rights systems. In the human rights jurisprudence the principle of non-discrimination and equality is of much important and is directly emanated from human dignity. In the era of Globalisation and international trade increased the importance and relevance of intellectual properties. It is high time to make clear the responsibilities of business

Health care-the Concept
The traditional notion of healthcare had individualistic approach and focused on access to medical treatment, medicines and procedures. Formerly, it was common for the term ‘health’ to be defined negatively. In a simple sense, it was explained as an absence of illness. However, the concept of health is changing radically after the World Health Organization defined the term positively as, “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not just the absence of...
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