The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

5166.0: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 3:10 PM

Abstract #59906

Rights-based approach to provision of emergency obstetric care

Lynn Freedman, JD, MPH, Department of Population and Family Health, Columbia University, 60 Haven Avenue B-2, New York, NY 10032 and Rana E. Barar, Department of Population & Family Health, Columbia University, 60 Haven Avenue, B2, New York, NY 07834, 212-304-5289,

"Rights-based" approaches fold human rights principles into the ongoing work of health policy making and programming. The example of delegation of anesthesia provision for emergency obstetric care is used to demonstrate how a rights-based approach,applied to this problem in the context of high-mortality countries, requires decision makers to shift from an individual, ethics-based, clinical perspective to a structural, rights-based, public health perspective. This fluid and context-sensitive approach to human rights also applies at the international level, where the direction of overall maternal mortality reduction strategy is set. By contrasting family planning programs and maternal mortality programs, this commentary argues for choosing the human rights approach that speaks most effectively to the power dynamics underlying the particular health problem being addressed. In the case of maternal death in high-mortality countries, this means a strategic focus on the health system itself.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Human Rights, Access to Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Rights-Based Approaches to Providing Emergency Obstetric Care

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA