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Comment & Response
July 5, 2016

Public Health and Human Rights

Author Affiliations
  • 1Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy, and Law, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
  • 2Health Ethics and Policy Lab, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
JAMA. 2016;316(1):103-104. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.5244

To the Editor Dr Galea and Mr Annas called for greater priority to be given to public health vs more individualized methods to improve population health.1 We agree with the authors’ recommendation for a multisectorial approach to public health that engages academia, industry, and the not-for-profit sector. We wish to highlight, however, the authors’ proposal that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) should be formally adopted as the code of public health ethics. Although we endorse the public health role of human rights,2 an exclusively rights-based approach generates 2 serious challenges that the authors did not address.

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