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The World Health Organisation (WHO), “enshrines the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental right of every human being”. Under the banner The Right to Health’, the WHO explains that “The right to health includes access to timely, acceptable, and affordable health care of appropriate quality”.

This is not in question here, and it’s laudable that nations can be guided by such simple, aspirational language.

My point in writing about it here is that, while we may have ‘rights’ (and that’s a whole other philosophical debate), we also have responsibilities. They include the responsibility to make use of information and resources that are there to guide us and help keep us in optimum health.

Whatever our rights, we can’t delegate responsibility for personal wellbeing to another person, or agency.

See also:

WHO: Your Right to Health

PS: I am not making the assumption that everyone can enjoy ‘good health’ to a set standard. Subjective wellbeing – how we feel about ourselves – is as important as health measured by some external clinical judgement. We all enjoy different degrees of wellbeing, irrespective of our actual state of physical and psychological health.


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