The right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress: in search of state obligations in relation to health

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 14 (4):371-381 (2011)
After having received little attention over the past decades, one of the least known human rights—the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications—has had its dust blown off. Although included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)—be it at the very end of both instruments -this right hardly received any attention from States, UN bodies and programmes and academics. The role of science in societies and its benefits and potential danger were discussed in various international fora, but hardly ever in a human rights context. Nowadays, within a world that is increasingly turning to science and technology for solutions to persistent socio-economic and development problems, the human dimension of science also receives increased attention, including the human right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications. This contribution analyses the possible legal obligations of States in relation to the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications, in particular as regards health
Keywords Human Rights  International Human Rights Law  Universal Declaration of Human Rights  International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights  Right to Enjoy the Benefits of Scientific Progress  Right to Health  Scientific Progress  Health
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DOI 10.1007/s11019-011-9327-y
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