The physician charter principles and commitments both parallel and strengthen a rights-based approach. The principles of patient welfare and social justice are central to the right to health and medical professionalism. The commitment to improving access and quality of care mirror the right to health’s fundamental “AAAQ” framework, (link to AAAQ page, below) which demands health services be available, accessible, acceptable, and of good quality. Finally, the commitment to science and the assurance of confidentiality are critical concepts to a human rights approach to health.
Health professional responsibilities can be met through a rights based approach to health utilizing human rights framework to achieve goals of accountability, participation, nondiscrimination, and universality. Examples of physicians use of a rights-based approach are improvement of patient care, building community health, and enhancing health policy.
Improve patient care
Employ the human rights principles of participation and non-discrimination to improve individual patient care, enhance cultural competency, recognize root causes of disease, and help people stay healthier longer.
Build community health
Apply the right to health principles of providing accessible, affordable, acceptable, quality care to build health systems that work, and recognize social determinants of health that can be addressed through programming that connects clinics with communities.
Enhance health policy
Use human rights as a platform to advocate for the closing of racial disparities by increasing funding for low income health care, to fight for immigrant health care, and to ensure that global health programs build systems that address fundamental health needs.
Physician charter principles and commitments both parallel and strengthen a human rights approach. Please visit the PHR Health Access in Massachusetts Toolkit.