Context: Human rights standards to address palliative care have developed over the last decade. Objectives: This article aims to examine key milestones in the evolution of human rights standards to address palliative care, relevant advocacy efforts, and areas for further growth. Methods: The article provides an analysis of human rights standards in the context of palliative care through the lens of the right to health, freedom from torture and ill treatment, and the rights of older persons and children. Results: Significant developments include the following: 1) the first human rights treaty to explicitly recognize the right to palliative care, the Inter-American Convention on the Rights of Older Persons; 2) the first World Health Assembly resolution on palliative care; 3) a report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture with a focus on denial of pain treatment; 4) addressing the availability of controlled medicines at the UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem. Conclusion: Development of human rights standards in relation to palliative care has been most notable in the context of the right to health, freedom from torture and ill treatment, and the rights of older persons. More work is needed in the context of the rights of children, and human rights treaty bodies are still not consistently addressing state obligations with regards to palliative care.
- human rights
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine