What Human Rights do for Health

Order by: Shuffle
Health
2009
Europe

Patients can get photocopies of their own medical records

Related European Convention Articles

Eight Roma women suspected they had been sterilised by medical authorities when having caesarians. They were refused permission to photocopy their medical records to assess their health status and begin litigation. They won their case.

Related links

Children
2012
UK

A child’s surgery happened despite mum’s objection

Related European Convention Articles

A child was prescribed chemo- and radiotherapy after brain surgery. His mother refused to consent to the treatment. A court decided that the treatment was in the child's best interests and ordered it to go ahead.

Related links

Health
1998
Europe

Government must be honest about pollution risks to those affected

Related European Convention Articles

The claimants lived near to a factory causing high levels of pollution but received no information on its activity, safety measures or emergency plans. They won their case. Government must inform inhabitants to enable them to decide whether to continue living there.

Related links

Health
1998
Europe

Governments must provide information if exposing public to hazards

Related European Convention Articles

The applicants were members of the armed forces present at the Christmas Island nuclear tests in the 1950s. They complained the government was hiding adverse information about the tests. The court confirmed the government must allow people to get to the truth.

Related links

    Health
    2002
    Europe

    Authorities must consider carefully detention of seriously ill prisoners

    Related European Convention Articles

    The applicant's continued detention whilst his health was deteriorating breached the State's duty to protect prisoners from distress or hardship beyond that which you would normally expect in prison.

    Related links

    Health
    2002
    Europe

    Birth parents must be treated sensitively in emergency care proceedings

    Related European Convention Articles

    A baby was taken away from her birth mother at birth and placed with foster carers. The birth parents were not legally represented when the plan for adoption was approved. They won their case and were awarded damages.

    Related links

      TOP 50
      50 Cases
      2012
      UK

      Hospitals must protect vulnerable patients at risk of suicide

      Related European Convention Articles

      A hospital should have done more to prevent the suicide of Melanie Rabone, a voluntary mental health patient. She was at an immediate risk of suicide, so the hospital had a duty to protect her right to life.

      Related links

      Family
      2014
      UK

      Doctors must involve families in ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ notices for patients

      Related European Convention Articles

      A 'Do Not Resuscitate' Notice was put in the Mrs Tracey's medical notes without consulting her or her family. The doctors' failure to consult breached her right to personal autonomy and to respect for private and family life.

      Related links

      Health
      2005
      UK

      A patient has the right to determine his/her best interests

      Related European Convention Articles

      A court said that withdrawing life-prolonging treatment without the patient's consent would constitute inhuman and degrading treatment and violate the right to life and respect for private life.

      Related links

        TOP 50
        50 Cases
        2004
        Europe

        Mental health detention needs proper safeguards

        Related European Convention Articles

        A man was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. He was was there informally, so wasn't protected by legal safeguards. This meant it was difficult for his family to get him home. This violated his right to liberty. The UK government responded by plugging the gap with a new law.

        Related links

          TOP 50
          50 Cases
          2008
          UK

          The State must do all it can to protect potential suicide victims

          Related European Convention Articles

          A woman's mother died whilst detained as a mental health patient. The court confirmed that human rights mean there is a positive duty on health authorities to take reasonable measures to prevent mental health patients from committing suicide.

          Related links

          Health
          2014
          Europe

          Medical students can’t watch women give birth without their (genuine) consent

          Related European Convention Articles

          The applicant's privacy rights were breached when she did not give written consent to the presence of medical students when she gave birth. Russian laws were found insufficient in this respect. The booklet on the teaching programme was vague, and made it look like the applicant had no choice in the matter.

          Related links

          Health
          2013
          UK

          Victims of neglectful hospital treatment got justice (and compensation)

          Related European Convention Articles

          Elderly and vulnerable patients were badly mistreated in an NHS hospital. A public inquiry found there was a failure of the NHS system at every level.

          TOP 50
          50 Cases
          2007
          UK

          Private residential care homes should be protected by human rights laws

          Related European Convention Articles

          A private company providing residential care for disabled people was not a public authority. That meant it didn't have to protect human rights of residents. The backlash over the case led to the loophole being closed in 2008.

          Related links

            Health
            2009
            Europe

            Prison medical officers can’t interfere in private correspondence

            Related European Convention Articles

            The applicant served his prison sentence after suffering a brain haemorrhage and was required to attend hospital for every six months. He complained that the prison medical officer read his medical correspondence. The Court agreed this was an unjust interference with his right to correspondence.

            Related links

            Health
            2015
            UK

            Councils can only detain people with mental health problems if it’s in their best interests

            Related European Convention Articles

            The Council removed a man from his home because they thought this in his best interests. His friends said otherwise and the Court agreed. The Council's act was an unlawful overreaction. The nonegenarian returned to live with his cat Fluffy.

            Related links

            Family
            2014
            Europe

            If you’re a parent in one country, you’re a parent everywhere

            Related European Convention Articles

            French courts refused to grant legal recognition of parent-child relationships which had been legally recognised in the USA. This was found to breach the child's right to respect for private life.

            Related links

            Health
            2015
            UK

            DNA collected for criminal investigation can’t be used for unrelated purposes

            Related European Convention Articles

            DNA had been lawfully collected from X's house during the investigation of a murder for which X was later convicted. A local authority wanted to use the DNA to resolve a paternity claim. A court found that was a breach of X's right to privacy.

            Related links

            Health
            2003
            Europe

            Governments must look after ill people in prison

            Related European Convention Articles

            A heroin addict died in prison, having suffered severe withdrawal symptoms. Her children complained of inhuman and degrading treatment. The Court agreed and held states to be under a duty to ensure detainees were held in conditions compatible with human dignity.

            Related links

            Health
            2003
            Europe

            Residents living under flight paths must be able to challenge flight schemes

            Related European Convention Articles

            Residents under the Heathrow flight path argued the night flights policy violated their human rights. The Court said their privacy rights had not been violated but their rights to a remedy under UK law had been, as there was no way to challenge the policy.

            Related links

            Children
            2006
            UK

            Young people can get confidential sexual health advice

            Related European Convention Articles

            A mother challenged guidelines allowing doctors to give sexual health advice and treatment to under 16s without telling their parents. In this case, young people's right to private life overrode the parents' rights.

            Related links

            Health
            2004
            Europe

            Medical staff can’t ignore parents’ objections to treatment of their children

            Related European Convention Articles

            A mother had fought doctors' decisions to give diamorphine to her critically ill disabled son as it could speed up his death. The Court said the approach of the doctors breached the mother and sons' right to family and private life.

            Related links

            Health
            2010
            Europe

            Women at risk of health problems must have access to information about abortion

            Related European Convention Articles

            A woman was in remission from cancer. She became pregnant and believed this could provoke a relapse. She couldn't find out from authorities or the courts whether she could have a legal abortion. She won her case. It was too unclear whether she could have a legal abortion or not.

            Related links

              Concept by:

              Research by:

              Design by:

              Site implementation by:

              We welcome suggestions and comments - please email

              Creative Commons Licence

              This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

              What Human Rights do for Health
              Share this: