Public Health Rights and Ethics: Conflicts, Contestations and Expanding Horizons

  • Edward Premdas Pinto


This chapter seeks to critically address the interface of ethics and public health rights. The dialectics of the interface of public health rights, interchangeably used as social right to healthcare (SRHC) and ethics, are marked by dilemmas, conflicts and contestations. The constitutional ambiguities in the articulation of SRHC on the one hand and the crisis of public healthcare on the other have further confounded such ambiguities that have resulted in gross systemic and individual violations of citizens’ dignity and wellbeing. This paper aims to (1) introduce the concept of rights in relation to ethics in public health discourse; (2) familiarise with the debates, dilemmas and contestations in the interface of rights and ethics; and (3) broaden the horizons of ethical framework in practice. The efforts of the civil society in India in foregrounding such ethical-moral argument are used to exemplify and argue for the dimension of social citizenship and rights as an inviolable constituent of the emerging public health ethics. Such terrain, however, is beset with challenges with contestations, dilemmas and conflicts, even as it is dynamic and ever expanding.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward Premdas Pinto
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Health and Social JusticeNew DelhiIndia

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