The right to traditional, complementary, and alternative health care

M. Stuttaford, S. Al Makhamreh, A.P.M. Coomans, J. Harrington, C. Himonga, G. Lewando Hundt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: State parties to human rights conventions and declarations are often faced with the seemingly contradictory problem of having an obligation to protect people from harmful practices while also having an obligation to enable access to culturally appropriate effective healing. As people increasingly migrate across the globe, previous distinctions between 'traditional' and 'complementary and alternative medicine' practices are being transcended. There are connections across transnational healing pathways that link local, national, and global movements of people and knowledge.

Objective: This paper contributes to the development of the concept and practice of the right to health in all its forms, exploring the right to traditional, complementary, and alternative health (R2TCAH) across different contexts.

Design: The paper draws on four settings - England, South Africa, Kenya, and Jordan - and is based on key informant interviews and a literature review undertaken in 2010, and updated in 2013. The paper begins by reviewing the international legal context for the right to health. It then considers legal and professional regulations from the global north and south.

Results: Additional research is needed to establish the legal basis, compare regulatory frameworks, and explore patient and provider perspectives of regulation. This leads to being able to make recommendations on how to balance protection from harm and the obligation to ensure culturally appropriate services. Such an exploration must also challenge Western theories of human rights. Key concepts, such as individual harm, consent, and respect of the autonomy of the individual already established and recognised in international health law, could be adopted in the development of a template for future comparative research.

Conclusions: Exploration of the normative content of the right to health in all its forms will contribute to supporting traditional, complementary, and alternative health service users and providers in terms of access to information, non-discrimination, clarification of state obligations, and accountability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24121
Number of pages8
JournalGlobal Health Action
Volume7
Early online date25 Apr 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2014

Keywords

  • COMMUNICATION
  • DISCLOSURE
  • HOME
  • MEDICAL PLURALISM
  • MEDICINES
  • MIGRANTS
  • PLACE
  • appropriate health care
  • complementary and alternative therapies
  • legal basis
  • plural health care
  • protection from harm
  • regulation
  • right to health
  • traditional

Cite this

Stuttaford, M., Al Makhamreh, S., Coomans, A. P. M., Harrington, J., Himonga, C., & Lewando Hundt, G. (2014). The right to traditional, complementary, and alternative health care. Global Health Action, 7, [24121]. https://doi.org/10.3402/gha.v7.24121
Stuttaford, M. ; Al Makhamreh, S. ; Coomans, A.P.M. ; Harrington, J. ; Himonga, C. ; Lewando Hundt, G. / The right to traditional, complementary, and alternative health care. In: Global Health Action. 2014 ; Vol. 7.
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Stuttaford, M, Al Makhamreh, S, Coomans, APM, Harrington, J, Himonga, C & Lewando Hundt, G 2014, 'The right to traditional, complementary, and alternative health care', Global Health Action, vol. 7, 24121. https://doi.org/10.3402/gha.v7.24121

The right to traditional, complementary, and alternative health care. / Stuttaford, M.; Al Makhamreh, S.; Coomans, A.P.M.; Harrington, J.; Himonga, C.; Lewando Hundt, G.

In: Global Health Action, Vol. 7, 24121, 25.04.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - The right to traditional, complementary, and alternative health care

AU - Stuttaford, M.

AU - Al Makhamreh, S.

AU - Coomans, A.P.M.

AU - Harrington, J.

AU - Himonga, C.

AU - Lewando Hundt, G.

PY - 2014/4/25

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N2 - Background: State parties to human rights conventions and declarations are often faced with the seemingly contradictory problem of having an obligation to protect people from harmful practices while also having an obligation to enable access to culturally appropriate effective healing. As people increasingly migrate across the globe, previous distinctions between 'traditional' and 'complementary and alternative medicine' practices are being transcended. There are connections across transnational healing pathways that link local, national, and global movements of people and knowledge.Objective: This paper contributes to the development of the concept and practice of the right to health in all its forms, exploring the right to traditional, complementary, and alternative health (R2TCAH) across different contexts.Design: The paper draws on four settings - England, South Africa, Kenya, and Jordan - and is based on key informant interviews and a literature review undertaken in 2010, and updated in 2013. The paper begins by reviewing the international legal context for the right to health. It then considers legal and professional regulations from the global north and south.Results: Additional research is needed to establish the legal basis, compare regulatory frameworks, and explore patient and provider perspectives of regulation. This leads to being able to make recommendations on how to balance protection from harm and the obligation to ensure culturally appropriate services. Such an exploration must also challenge Western theories of human rights. Key concepts, such as individual harm, consent, and respect of the autonomy of the individual already established and recognised in international health law, could be adopted in the development of a template for future comparative research.Conclusions: Exploration of the normative content of the right to health in all its forms will contribute to supporting traditional, complementary, and alternative health service users and providers in terms of access to information, non-discrimination, clarification of state obligations, and accountability.

AB - Background: State parties to human rights conventions and declarations are often faced with the seemingly contradictory problem of having an obligation to protect people from harmful practices while also having an obligation to enable access to culturally appropriate effective healing. As people increasingly migrate across the globe, previous distinctions between 'traditional' and 'complementary and alternative medicine' practices are being transcended. There are connections across transnational healing pathways that link local, national, and global movements of people and knowledge.Objective: This paper contributes to the development of the concept and practice of the right to health in all its forms, exploring the right to traditional, complementary, and alternative health (R2TCAH) across different contexts.Design: The paper draws on four settings - England, South Africa, Kenya, and Jordan - and is based on key informant interviews and a literature review undertaken in 2010, and updated in 2013. The paper begins by reviewing the international legal context for the right to health. It then considers legal and professional regulations from the global north and south.Results: Additional research is needed to establish the legal basis, compare regulatory frameworks, and explore patient and provider perspectives of regulation. This leads to being able to make recommendations on how to balance protection from harm and the obligation to ensure culturally appropriate services. Such an exploration must also challenge Western theories of human rights. Key concepts, such as individual harm, consent, and respect of the autonomy of the individual already established and recognised in international health law, could be adopted in the development of a template for future comparative research.Conclusions: Exploration of the normative content of the right to health in all its forms will contribute to supporting traditional, complementary, and alternative health service users and providers in terms of access to information, non-discrimination, clarification of state obligations, and accountability.

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KW - DISCLOSURE

KW - HOME

KW - MEDICAL PLURALISM

KW - MEDICINES

KW - MIGRANTS

KW - PLACE

KW - appropriate health care

KW - complementary and alternative therapies

KW - legal basis

KW - plural health care

KW - protection from harm

KW - regulation

KW - right to health

KW - traditional

U2 - 10.3402/gha.v7.24121

DO - 10.3402/gha.v7.24121

M3 - Review article

VL - 7

JO - Global Health Action

JF - Global Health Action

SN - 1654-9880

M1 - 24121

ER -

Stuttaford M, Al Makhamreh S, Coomans APM, Harrington J, Himonga C, Lewando Hundt G. The right to traditional, complementary, and alternative health care. Global Health Action. 2014 Apr 25;7. 24121. https://doi.org/10.3402/gha.v7.24121