Getting the balance right: thick and thin approaches to harmonizing state particularism and the human right to health
Version of Record online: 3 MAR 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 15, Issue 4, pages 441–448, December 2012
How to Cite
Buetow, S. (2012), Getting the balance right: thick and thin approaches to harmonizing state particularism and the human right to health. Health Expectations, 15: 441–448. doi: 10.1111/j.1369-7625.2011.00666.x
- Issue online: 8 NOV 2012
- Version of Record online: 3 MAR 2011
- Accepted for publication 7 January 2011
- consumer participation;
- cultural diversity;
- ethics medical;
- human rights;
- public policy
Context The right to health requires States to achieve the highest standard of health attainable for all. A culturally sensitive approach is needed to respect States’ interpretation and implementation of the universal right to health, and document their progress.
Objective This viewpoint suggests how to harmonize the (i) human right to health and (ii) the particularism of State values and interests.
Strategy I describe the ‘thickness’ with which individual States recognize the right to health, as a dimension of universality, and then implement that recognition, as a dimension of particularism. Recognition and implementation by States need to be thick to demonstrate ‘glocal’ rationality, as characterizes the right to health as a Webberian ideal type. Examples of variation in the thickness of States’ interpretation and implementation of the right to health are discussed.
Conclusion It is possible to work towards harmonizing the right to health, and State particularism, by maximizing the thickness with which individual States recognize this right and progressively implement it.