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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Rights of the Child: Medical Practice Standards, Human Rights Law and the Role of Medical/Legal Advocacy in Improving Child Health

Patricia Kuszler, MD, JD, School of Law, University of Washington, William H. Gates Hall, Box 353020, Seattle, WA 98195-3020, 206-685-0511, kuszler@u.washington.edu

This presentation will consider the underlying commonalities of biomedical ethics and human rights advocacy with respect to the rights and protection of children. After briefly summarizing concepts of research and biomedical ethics as applied to children in the US and internationally, our presentation will explore the potential role and power of international legal instruments, such as the Universal Declarations of Human Rights, the Nuremburg Code, the International Covenants, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Using this foundation, we will explore the enforceability of biomedical practice standards and human rights law on child health. For example, enforceability may be dependent upon a nation state having an articulated constitutional right to health that allows the aspirations expressed in a human rights document to be realized through enforcement in the nation's legal fora. However, even in the context of such legal underpinnings, realization of improved child health and welfare will be dependent upon credible evidence supplied by medical personnel, including documented medical histories and examination findings. We argue that the health sector must engage and dialogue with the legal sector in order to create and implement a system for both medical and legal redress of human right violations and injuries inflicted upon children. Our hypothesis is that infusing medical education and legal education, both at the initial and continuing education levels, with understanding of these commonalities will enhance the practical significance of both ethics and law and also foster medical/legal collaboration with respect to advocacy for children.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, the participant will be able to

Keywords: Child Health, International Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Promoting and Protecting the Rights of the Child

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA