HIFA survey: Q4: Access to reliable healthcare information is (or should be) a human right? (8)

5 September, 2023

Although the Universal Declaration of Human Rights itself does not guarantee a right of access to essential information, the discussion continues in its subsequent implementation documents, or "covenants". In May 2000, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in a covenant document, stated that the right to health was “an inclusive right”, and that among the determinants to health included was “access to health-related education and information”. The Committee went further, defining “information accessibility” as “the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas concerning health issues”. (Thanks to Geoff Royston for noting this) .

Bernard Seytre writes "While access to healthcare information is, of course, important (I work in this field) its importance is not at the level of food, education, work, health, and liberty." But what value would there be in a right to (health) education without a corresponding right to (health) information? The two are unavoidably and inextricably bound together.



HIFA profile: Chris Zielinski: As a Visiting Fellow and Lecturer at the Centre for Global Health, University of Winchester, Chris leads the Partnerships in Health Information (Phi) programme, which supports knowledge development and brokers healthcare information exchanges of all kinds. He is the elected Vice President (and President-in-Waiting) of the World Association of Medical Editors. Chris has held senior positions in publishing and knowledge management with WHO in Brazzaville, Geneva, Cairo and New Delhi, with FAO in Rome, ILO in Geneva, and UNIDO in Vienna. He served on WHO's Ethical Review Committee, and was an originator of the African Health Observatory. He also spent three years in London as Chief Executive of the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society. Chris has been a director of the UK Copyright Licensing Agency, Educational Recording Agency, and International Association of Audiovisual Writers and Directors. He has served on the boards of several NGOs and ethics groupings (information and computer ethics and bioethics). chris AT chriszielinski.com. His publications are at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Chris-Zielinski and https://winchester.academia.edu/ChrisZielinski/ and his blogs are http://ziggytheblue.wordrpress.com and https://www.tumblr.com/blog/ziggytheblue