chapter  7
13 Pages

Exploring the Philosophical Foundations of the Human Rights Approach to International Public Health Ethics

WithKristen Hessler

This chapter has four main points. First, I argue that the human rights approach to public health ethics, championed by Jonathan Mann and others, needs to engage with philosophical accounts of moral human rights. Second, I argue that, while both interest-based and agency accounts of moral human rights are defensible as philosophical accounts of human rights, and both have advantages as the foundation for a human rights approach to public health ethics, the interest-based approach is a natural fit for this approach. Third, I illustrate how engagement with the philosophical accounts of the structure of moral rights can help respond to the criticism that certain rights underpinning the human rights approach to public health ethics, such as the right to health, cannot be justified. Finally, I argue that the human rights approach to public health ethics promises to contribute to our understanding of both health and human rights.