Human Rights and Public Health in the AIDS Pandemic / Edition 1

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Overview

A penetrating analysis of the close relationship between public health and human rights, this book makes a compelling case for synergy between the two fields. Using the AIDS pandemic as a lens, the authors demonstrate that health is closely related to human dignity and individual rights—human rights cannot be deemed adequate and comprehensive without ensuring the health of individuals. In the course of their analysis, Gostin and Lazzarini tackle some of the most vexing issues of our time, including the universality of human rights and the counter-claims of cultural relativity. Taking a cue from environmental impact assessment, they propose a human rights impact assessment for examining health policies—a tool that will be invaluable for evaluating real-world public health problems.
This volume examines issues—HIV testing, screening, partner notification, isolation, quarantine, and criminalization of persons with HIV/AIDS—within the framework of international human rights law. The authors evaluate the public health implications of a wide range of AIDS policies in developed as well as developing countries. The role of women in society receives special emphasis. Finally, the book presents three case histories significant in the HIV/AIDS pandemic and analyzes them from a human rights perspective. The cases include discrimination and the transmission of HIV and tuberculosis in an occupational health care setting; breast feeding in the least developed countries; and confidentiality and the right of sexual partners to know of potential exposure to HIV. Gostin and Lazzarini have written a book that will be a valuable addition to the libraries of public health practitioners, legal scholars, bioethicists, policy makers, and public rights activists.

The book contains no figures.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Judith W. Munson, JD (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Description: This book illuminates the importance of linkages between public health measures and human rights concerns in the design of management strategies that are to overcome the unique problems posed by the AIDS pandemic.
Purpose: The authors intend this book to show why human rights concerns are as serious and integral in the battle against AIDS as are public health considerations. They go about this task by detailing and explaining those human rights principles recognized internationally and then applying them to AIDS policy. The authors' objectives are laudable because they undertake to analyze those circumstances in which the protection of the public's health does not necessarily require the derogation of the rights of the individual, especially in the management of the AIDS threat. The authors succeed in meeting this objective.
Audience: This book is written for a broad audience. The authors seek to enlighten individuals and organizations, governmental and nongovernmental, concerned with the AIDS pandemic about the protection of the health and the human rights of persons living with HIV/AIDS. They focus on the fundamental principles of human rights, where they come from, and how they intersect with effective strategies impeding the spread of AIDS. The authors bring to their subject unique qualifications. They are both lawyers representing three prestigious academic centers: Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and Harvard. They use their legal expertise to focus on the public health issues surrounding AIDS through the human rights lens.
Features: The thesis of the book is well researched and thoroughly referenced and documented. Its bibliography is notable for its comprehensive compilation of documents, books, and articles addressing the legal and human rights issues regarding AIDS that are tackled in the book. Equally noteworthy are the chapters containing the human rights impact assessment tool proffered by the authors and the case studies that are used to apply the tool. An appendix sets forth the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its entirety.
Assessment: The book is provocative in its thesis and should prove to be useful in a variety of forums: governmental policy centers, legislatures, provider sites, and the classroom. The authors' use of case studies to apply the human rights impact assessment model they propose is an interesting method of bringing theory into practice. This provides the utilitarian aspect needed to focus on the real-life practicality of implementing global human rights principles in day-to-day scenarios as issues arise involving AIDS.
Judith W. Munson
This book illuminates the importance of linkages between public health measures and human rights concerns in the design of management strategies that are to overcome the unique problems posed by the AIDS pandemic. The authors intend this book to show why human rights concerns are as serious and integral in the battle against AIDS as are public health considerations. They go about this task by detailing and explaining those human rights principles recognized internationally and then applying them to AIDS policy. The authors' objectives are laudable because they undertake to analyze those circumstances in which the protection of the public's health does not necessarily require the derogation of the rights of the individual, especially in the management of the AIDS threat. The authors succeed in meeting this objective. This book is written for a broad audience. The authors seek to enlighten individuals and organizations, governmental and nongovernmental, concerned with the AIDS pandemic about the protection of the health and the human rights of persons living with HIV/AIDS. They focus on the fundamental principles of human rights, where they come from, and how they intersect with effective strategies impeding the spread of AIDS. The authors bring to their subject unique qualifications. They are both lawyers representing three prestigious academic centers: Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and Harvard. They use their legal expertise to focus on the public health issues surrounding AIDS through the human rights lens. The thesis of the book is well researched and thoroughly referenced and documented. Its bibliography is notable for its comprehensive compilation of documents, books, andarticles addressing the legal and human rights issues regarding AIDS that are tackled in the book. Equally noteworthy are the chapters containing the human rights impact assessment tool proffered by the authors and the case studies that are used to apply the tool. An appendix sets forth the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its entirety. The book is provocative in its thesis and should prove to be useful in a variety of forums: governmental policy centers, legislatures, provider sites, and the classroom. The authors' use of case studies to apply the human rights impact assessment model they propose is an interesting method of bringing theory into practice. This provides the utilitarian aspect needed to focus on the real-life practicality of implementing global human rights principles in day-to-day scenarios as issues arise involving AIDS.
Journal of the American Medical Association
Human Rights and Public Health in the AIDS Pandemic, by Lawrence Gostin and Zita Lazzarini, is a carefully written, comprehensive guide to many of the ethical and philosophical issues generated by the tension between these two realms. It will be a valuable guide and reference both for people working in the field and for those seeking to acquaint themselves with the major themes.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195114423
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Lawrence O. Gostin, J.D., LL.D. (Hon.), is Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, Adjunct Professor of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, and Co-Director of the Georgetown-Johns Hopkins Program on Law and Public Health.
Zita Lazzarini, J.D., M.P.H., is a public health lawyer and Lecturer on AIDS, law, and human rights at Harvard Law School, Harvard School of Public Health, and Tufts University.

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Table of Contents

Foreword. José Ayala Lasso, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Peter Piot, Executive Director, UNAIDS
1. International Human Rights Law in the AIDS Pandemic
2. Harmonizing Human Rights and Public Health
3. Human Rights Impact Assessment
4. AIDS Policies and Practices: Integrating Public Health Benefits and Human Rights
5. Case Studies Raising Critical Questions in HIV Policy and Research: Balancing Public Health Benefits and Human Rights Burdens

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