European and International Health Law
International and European health law is about placing individuals legitimate expectations for their health provision into a context of rights and duties. It is about defining what one can expect, from whom, and in return for what. It is, therefore about seeing differences in those expectations and about seeing how universal standards emerge and are enforced. The relationship between individuals and health expectations and health provision seems, incredibly in the 21st century, to be a lottery of birth. Geographical and economic location, gender and race are all factors that produce difference in health expectations beyond simple genetics and chosen lifestyle factors. Globally, ‘health’ is a massive industry. Both health care as a service and pharmaceutical provision command enormous resources and a special place in political choices internationally. The implementation of health innovation, from lab to bedside, and in prevention and public health, is set against these backdrop issues.
In many ways, international and European health law is about ‘medical mobility’. It is about the way that expectations are mobile between cultures and people; it is about the way that standards and harmonisations operate in opposition to those differences; it is about the ways that individuals can move either to practice medicine or to enjoy the benefits of health care; it is about the way that innovations in care and treatment can move between geographical places.
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International and European Health Law is a short course that explores some of the aspects of these relationships with health and the health industry. It is grounded in norms - on law and ethics - but it draws on multidisciplinary texts. In the four weeks of the course, we will examine the law relating to the following:
European Health Law. Central to European Union health law is the question of the competence of the European Union - that is to say, the power that the EU has to create law in relation to health. There are then specific legal instruments to discuss in relation to health law: the movement of professionals, the movement of patients; public health responses; health promotion.
International Health Law. International law is a matter of the agreements that States make between themselves in relation to specific purposes. We will consider the place of health in the human rights instruments, particularly the extent of the right to health care. We will consider the different aspects of ‘global health’, including access to pharmaceuticals.
The Basis of the Right to Health and the Foundation of MobilityUnderpinning the question of health provision at the international and European level are two fundamental issues: the construction of citizenship - the mooring of the individual’s relationship to society; and the basis of solidarity - why, in a geographically-based, or territorially-based, citizenship do individuals and societies have duties that transcend borders, and what are the bases of the construction of these duties.