Jurisprudential Analysis of the Nature of the Right to Health

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By Yu Shaoxiang, translated by Bi Xiaoqing

Currently, there is no authoritative or unified definition of the right to health in Chinese academic circle. Nor is there a universally recognized standard of definition of the right to health in international community. A Chinese scholar defines the right to health as "the right of a living human being to maintain the normal functioning of the various organs in his body."1 Another Chinese scholar holds that the right to health is "a natural person's right of personality, with the interest of the functioning of his various organs and of his whole body as its content, including the healthy physiological functioning of various organs in his body as well as psychological or mental wellbeing."2 Another scholar exclaims that "the right to health is a frequently used yet very vague concept."3 Because of the lack of a unified standard on the concept of health, the standard on the right to health is also "indeterminate".4 At the international level, the World Health Organization defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."5 Correspondingly, the right to health is defined as the right to maintain "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being". Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights defines the right to health as "the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health." Later, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (the Committee) further pointed out in an interpretation of article 12 that "the right to health is not to be understood as a right to be healthy." Rather, it "must be understood as a right to the enjoyment of a variety of facilities, goods, services and conditions necessary for the realization of the highest attainable standard of health." However, there is no consensus on what is "the highest attainable standard of health". The Committee, in its General Comment No.14 on the Right to Health, provided a conceptual framework for the right to health, according to which, the right to health includes the right to accessible, acceptable and high-quality health facilities, goods and services as well to underlying determinants of health.6 It is thus clear that internationally the content of the right to health is constantly evolving and developing. Under this circumstance, it is extremely difficult to have a clear definition of the right to health. The author of this article is of the opinion that the definition given by the WHO is relatively close to the nature of the right to health. Although historically the content of the right to health has been undergoing a process of continuous evolution and deepening of understanding, the basic nature of this right remain unchanged, which is an important indication of the right to health as a right. So what is the nature of the right to health from the jurisprudential point of view?

1.The Right to Health Is a Fundamental Right

The so-called fundamental rights refer to the rights that everyone is entitled to enjoy as human being, namely the so-called human rights.7 Health is a basic prerequisite for the survival and development of an individual as well as one of the most important value objectives of all human activities. Since a person's health condition directly affect his earning capacity and living condition, as well as the realization of his other social and economic rights, the right to health is considered the most fundamental and most important personal interest and personal right of a natural person and the basic prerequisite for the realization of his freedom and happiness. It is exactly because health is the basic condition for the survival of human beings, good health can bring an individual the work capacity and development potential that are indispensable to him. The school of natural law regards the right to health as the natural, inherent, and inalienable fundamental human rights and a basic interest of a civil society.8 The right to health as a basic right has been protected by law since very early in the legal history of mankind. The ancient laws of both eastern and western countries had provided for criminal punishments for causing bodily harms to another person. However, it was not until 1919 that the right to health first appeared as a modern constitutional right in the Weimar Constitution. In 1925, the safeguarding of the right to health was first provided for in the constitution as a state obligation in Chile. In 1946, the right to health was first provided for in an international convention-the Constitution of the World Health Organization. Later it was embodied in many international and regional human rights instruments. In 1948, the right to health was formally established as a fundamental human right by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. After that, it has been provided for in many other UN instruments. In 1978, the Declaration of Alma-Ata, adopted at the International Conference on Primary Health Care, proclaims that the right to health is a fundamental human right and that the attainment of the highest possible level of health is a most important world-wide social goal. It should be said that, before the 1990s, people generally tended to attach importance to civil and political rights whiling ignoring economic, social and cultural rights. However, this tendency has been rectified in recent years and the international human rights circle is paying increasing attention to economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to health.

The implementation of the right to health as a fundamental right is not very satisfactory. In some countries, people are unable to enjoy even the most basic medical security. In view of this situation, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted at its 22nd Session the General Comment No. 14 (2000), which emphasizes the active and passive aspects of a state's basic obligations to respect, protect and realize the right to health. Since the right to health is mainly realized through the basic medical security provided by the state, which in turn, is realized through state sponsored social and medical insurances, the state should, to the extent permitted by their economic conditions, increase its investment in medical care and public health, and effectively allocate medical resources, so as to provide actual safeguards for the realization of citizens' right to health.

2. The Right to Health Is a Universal Right

The so-called universal rights means that all members of human family, regardless of race, gender, class, belief, colour, nationality, intelligence, ability and wealth, equally posses the common value and dignity as human being. As a universal right, the right to health is not only an issue of domestic law, but also an issue of common concern to the international community. It is for this reason that many international organizations have make the promotion of the development and realization of the right to health one of their important goals. The Universal Declaration on Human Rights declares in article 25 that: "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control;" and that "motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance."9 And the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights affirms in article 12 "the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health" and requires State Parties to take steps to realize the right to health, including (a) the provision for the reduction of the stillbirth-rate and of infant mortality and for the healthy development of the child; (b) the improvement of all aspects of environmental and industrial hygiene; (c) the prevention, treatment and control of epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases; and (d) the creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness."10 Because the right to health is a universal right, the international norms on this right and the corresponding obligations of state parties are universally applicable, regardless of regional differences. However, because of the hugely different levels of development between various countries of the world, there are often differences and conflicts in the protection of the right to health in practice. For example, the WTO allows governments, for the health interest of their own citizens, to adopt stricter laws and regulations on technology than those of other countries and to prevent foreign products that fail to meet such laws and regulations from entering into their domestic markets. Some developed countries therefore hold that the acceleration of the globalization requires the universal implementation of economic, social and cultural rights and that all trade competitors should follow the minimum international standards on economic, social and cultural rights, especially those relating to labour and environmental protection. They propose to adopt international standards on occupational health and safety, so as to prevent some member states from reducing the costs of products by ignoring labour protection, and pursuing maximization of economic and trade interests by lowering wages, using child labour, or sacrificing workers' right to health.11 Member states that do not abide by the minimum international standards should be regarded as practicing social dumping and will be faced with such sanctions as suspension of trade privileges or imposition of trade quotas. In reality, however, the realization of economic and social rights is often dependent on economic development and the availability of resources and the level of public health services a state can provide is restrained by its national conditions and economic capability. It is for this reason that the realization of social and economic rights, including the right to health, is defined by the United Nations as a progressive process.

3. The Right to Health Is an Inclusive Right

The right to health is a substantive concept, rather than an abstract value concept. It contains wide-ranging substantive content and therefore it is an inclusive right. As mentioned above, the content of health has also undergone a process of continuous deepening of understanding. In ancient Greece, health was the beauty of strength and the physical robustness, and it was the health of aristocrats, rather than that of the commoners. In the Middle Ages Europe, the concept of health began to contain spiritual or mental content. In modern society, new standard is made on health: it refers not only to the physical and mental well-being of an individual, but also to external factors such as nutrition, sanitation and medical facilities. Therefore, the protection of the right to health means not only protecting citizens from physical and mental harms, but also providing them with portable water, food, and living and work environment that conform to the relevant hygiene standards, public health facilities, medical services, etc. the author of this article is of the opinion that the right to health contains at least two levels of meaning: first, citizens have the right to maintain their own physical and mental health; and second, citizens have the right to request legal protection when their health is unlawfully infringed upon. Some scholars argue that the content of the right to health as a inclusive right can be further divided according to different criteria: according to the elements of health care, it can be divided into the right to acquire health knowledge; the right to healthy work conditions, the right to healthy environment, the right to medical care, the right to public health, and the right to remedy for damages to health; and according to the criterion of the utilization of rights, it can be divided into the right to maintain health, the right to demand for health and the right to access to medical care.12 The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in light of the conditions of the development of the world economy, provides four concrete standards on the enjoyment of the right to health: (a) availability, namely public health and health-care facilities, goods and services have to be available in sufficient quantity so as to meet the need of the society; (b) accessibility, namely health facilities, goods and services have to be accessible to everyone without discrimination; (c) acceptability, namely all health facilities, goods and services must conform to medical ethics and social norms; and (d) quality, namely health facilities, goods and services must meet the minimum scientific and medical quality standards. According to the Constitution of the WHO and article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the right to health mainly covers the following substantive content: first, health care services, including medical care, prevention of disease, child health care, birth control service, prenatal and perinatal health care, and mental health care; and second, prerequisites for health, including clean water, sufficient nutritious food, sufficient health facilities, healthy environment, occupational health, health information, etc.13 Therefore, according to the relevant provisions of the WHO and the UN, infringements of the right to health refers not only to causing harms to citizens' physical and mental health, but also failure on the part of the government and public health organs to provide citizens with the necessary health care, medical treatment, clean water, sufficient nutritious food or healthy environment.

4. The Right to Health Is a Social Right

Health is not only a need of the individual, but also a "public need",14 which determines the social nature of the right to health, because the realization of the right to health affects not only the health of the individual, but also public interest of the society. For example, if an individual catches a contagious disease, the health of not only himself but also all the people around him will be affected and threatened. Problems such as environmental pollution and infectious diseases harm public health and the interests of huge numbers of families. Therefore, the protection of the right to health is an obligation of the government and every citizen, as well as a common interest of society. In reality, the development of the right to health from a private right into a society right has been a progressive process. In ancient times, all the major legal systems, whether the Roman law system, the Germanic law system, or the Chinese law system, protected the right to health at the private law level and the state only passively provided individuals with the last remedy as required by the minimum moral standard.15 The right to health in private law refers to "the normal operation and full development of the physiological functions of a natural person and the concrete right to personality with the interest of maintaining the life activity of human body as its content, including the right to maintain physical health, the right to maintain the capacity to work, and the right to dispose of health interest."16 Such definition has its limitations in that it is based only on the understanding of the physiological function of the subject, whiling ignoring the psychological and social determinants of health, and fails to recognize the relationships between health of the individual and public health and between individual interest and public interest. In the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, the theory of social organism put forward by utilitarian thinkers such as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill laid the foundation for the theory of socialization of the right to health. The idea of "the greatest happiness for the greatest number" proposed them became an important principle that helped to bring about the development of social welfare in western countries, and infused the right to health and other social rights with new life by promoting positive state actions through charity, humanitarian relieve and social mutual aid.17 In the 1940s, the speech by President Franklin Roosevelt on the "Four Freedoms" brought about the recognition by the international community of social rights, in addition to civil and political rights. In 1945, at the San Francisco Conference that established the United Nations, the right to health was formally incorporated into economic, social and cultural rights and later confirmed in article 55 of the UN Charter,18 thereby transformed from a purely private right to a mixed public-private (namely, social) right, and from a right that can only be claimed against individuals to a right that can be claimed against both individuals and the state.19 The significance of the right to health as a social right, rather than a purely private right, is that: not only a citizen must bear responsibility for his own health, but the state also has to bear positive obligation to safeguard the right to health. Namely, the government has the duty to ensure the realization of the right to health and to play an important role in the provision of relevant services. Currently, in most countries of the world, basic health care is regarded as a citizen's social right, the expenses of which are to be paid through the fund raised by state organizations or to be borne directly by the state. And the health of the individual is socialized so as to ensure, through social forces, the equal access to health care by every citizen. Since the realization of the right to health is dependent on medical and health services, it requires the state to vigorously develop medical and health undertakings and raise the quality of medical and health services.

5. The Right to Health Is an Equal Right

Equality and non-discrimination is a basic element of the right to health. As a social right, it requires the state to "protect the individual from economic and social injustice in matters of health", to ensure that "health services are accessible and fully adapted to the cultural background of the individual"; to provide the individual with a series of rights and freedoms relating to health services, "especially opportunities and platforms for the disadvantaged groups to improve their abilities".20 Scholar Xiong Huiping holds that the lack of sufficient protection of the right to health is an important manifestation of poverty of right. There is an imbalance in the enjoyment of the right to health between the rich and the poor and the essence of such imbalance is "the overriding of rights by power, the misplacement of rights and power, and the absence of rights, and the resulting gap between the rich and the poor and the widening of such gap."21 Therefore, although the realization of the right to health is restrained by such factors as the levels of development of health care and economy, its equal and universal nature requires that health policy must embody "fair and equality of opportunity". Namely, society should recognize and respect the value of life and ensure that every patient gets the necessary treatment, so as to embody social justice.22 It is exactly for this reason that almost all international human rights conventions have unequivocally affirmed the "non-discrimination principle" relating to the right to health. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights provides in article 2 (2) that the States Parties have the obligation to guarantee that the rights enunciated in the Covenant will be exercised without discrimination of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.23 The General Comment No. 14 issued by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Right especially mentioned the elimination of discrimination based on health status, including HIV/AIDS, disability and sexual orientation. The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination stresses the equality and non-discrimination relating to the right to health. Article 5 of the Convention requires state parties to "undertake to prohibit and to eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone, without distinction as to race, colour, or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law, notably in the enjoyment of the following rights: …the right to public health, medical care, social security and social services";24 the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women provides in article 12 (5) that "States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of health care in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, access to health care services, including those related to family planning";25 the Convention on the Right of the Child provides in article 24 (1) that: "States Parties recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health. States Parties shall strive to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services."26 And the WHO, based on the principle of equality and non-discrimination, adopted a set of universal standards on state obligations relating to the right to health in the "Strategy for Primary Health Care".27 Although these standards was adopted many years ago, they are still of great importance to the promotion of the equal right to health today. It should be said that the realization of the equal right to the health should not merely rely on the passive inaction by the state. On the contrary, it demands that the state take positive actions and necessary steps, including promulgation of laws, making of policies and strategies, and establishment of basic systems, to ensure the fair and equitable realization of the right to health. It is true that the right to health also has negative aspects. Sometimes it demands that the state safeguard its realization by "non-interference" or "non-infringement", namely the state may not impede citizens from maintaining their health or sacrifice citizens' health on any excuse or by any means.

6. The Right to Health Is a Legal Right

Legal rights are relative to "due rights" and "moral rights". As a fundamental human right, the right to health is both a due right and an actual right, and it is both a moral right and a legal right.28 The transformation of the right to health from a due right to a legal right means that citizens possess "the force of law" with respect to their health interest.29 Such force gives a citizen the capacity to control subject matter or other person and it is combined with the element of "specific interest". Some scholars hold that before the right to health was transformed into a legal right, it had gone through a process of evolution from clan revenge to blood revenge, from blood revenge to talion, and from talion to atonement through compensation. Namely the power to investigate and punish acts of violation of the right to health had been gradually transferred from the clan to groups or individuals, and then to public officials designated by the law to represent the whole society.30 As far as the law is concerned, in 1601, Poor Law in England established the content of medical relieves and services that the government should provide to the poor. However, the government borne only limited "moral" obligation in this respect and the poor people's dignity was not protected when receiving such medical relieves or services.31 In 1848, England promulgated the first law on public health in the world and established the Central Board of Health, thereby formally established the state's obligation to safeguard citizens' right to health.32 In 1883, Germany promulgated the first health security law in the world-the Law on Health Insurance for Industrial Workers-which marked the birth of a new type of health insurance legal system whereby health risks were shared by the individual, the society and the state. Not long after that, various countries in Europe, Americas and Asian began to implement health insurance laws and established different models of medical and health insurance systems. Just as John Locke pointed out, when different views on health acquire historical perspective, the right to health is transformed from a natural and inalienable right into a human right.33 In China, the current Constitution contains no independent concept of "the right to health". Nevertheless, it has made clear stipulation on the protection of people's health from the perspective of state responsibility. Not only so, the right to health is also strictly protected by various civil, criminal, and administrative laws. For example, article 98 of the General Principles of the Civil Law provides that citizens shall have "the right to life and health"; article 119 of the same law provides that anyone who infringes upon a citizen's right to health "shall pay his medical expenses and his loss in income due to missed working time and shall pay him living subsidies if he is disabled; if the victim dies, the infringer shall also pay the funeral expenses, the necessary living expenses of the deceased's dependents and other such expenses." The strictest protection of the right to health is provided for in the criminal law. Provisions on the protection of the right to health can also be found in various social and administrative laws, such as the Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Consumers, the Law on Product Quality, the Law on the Prevention and Control of Occupational Diseases, the Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, and the Law on Maternal and Infant Care. It should be pointed out that although, as a legal right, the right to health is of a universal nature, it is mainly a right under domestic jurisdiction and legal rights are not limited to those specifically provided for in the law. They also include those rights that can be presumed in light of social, economic, political and cultural development and according to the spirit, logic and experience of law, namely "presumed rights".34 Some scholars argue that each state should adopt its own minimum health standard according to the relevant international conventions and in light of the level of economic development, resources, and the availability, quality and equality of health services in the country. For instance, scholar Dong Wenyong argues that the basic standard on the right to health should include five aspects so as to ensure the actual protection of the right in practice and the realization of the intended goals.35 However, whether these standards can be transformed into legal rights is a question that still needs to be further studied.

The above is my basic understand of the nature of the right to health. Along with the growth of world population, the development of the world economy, the change of lifestyle and the breakout of new diseases, the connotation of citizens' health, especially public health, is undergoing a process of dynamic change. Correspondingly, the concepts of health and the right of health will also constantly develop and incorporate more political and other objectives into their standards and connotations, thereby leading to major development of the ideas of human rights.36 Just as a scholar points out, in modern society, health has "undergone a process of evolution from a strict concept belonging to the health sector and involving humanitarianism to a concept gradually covered by many other social objectives, a concept with increasingly rich connotation and vague content." As a result, the right to health becomes more risky and inaccurate as a human right concept.37 In essence, the objective of the right to health is to safeguard citizens' physical and mental wholesomeness and social adaptability, which is different from that of guarantee of basic livelihood. Therefore, currently there are many disputes among domestic and international law circles over whether or not it is appropriate to set up a so-called "minimum standard" on the right to health. Moreover, the lack of unified understanding of the nature of the right to health has made it difficult to resolve many health-related problems, such as: how can the state strike a balance between "health and development" and between "present and future"? In case conflict between the right to health and the right to development, which one shall prevail over the other? Whether the government should prohibit citizens from engaging in certain activities that are harmful to their own health (such as smoking or excessive drinking)? The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights holds that state parties have some core obligations to ensure the satisfaction of, at the very least, minimum essential levels of the right to health. These obligations include: to ensure the right of access to health facilities, goods and services on a non-discriminatory basis, especially for vulnerable or marginalized groups; to ensure access to basic shelter, housing and sanitation and to an adequate supply of nutritionally adequate and safe food and safe and potable water; to ensure equitable distribution of all health facilities, goods and services; and to adopt and implement a national public health strategy and plan of action that safeguard the right to health of every citizen. However, the fact that the right to health is in essence an issue of domestic law and its realization is to a large extent determined by the conditions of economic and social development in a country has made it very difficult to implement such core obligations or to initiate litigation against a government for violation of such obligations. All these are problems that need to be resolved in the future.


1Zhang Qianfan, Constitutional Law, Beijing: Law Press China, 2004, p. 184.

2See Mou Fangjun, "Reflections on the Civil Law Protection of Citizens' Right to Life and Right to Health in China", (1997) 4 Journal of Hubei Institute for Nationalities.

3See Yue Yuanlei, "On the State's Fundamental Responsibilities for Citizens' Right to Health", (2007) 3 Chinese Journal of Medical Ethics.

4See Dong Wenyong, "Standard on the Right to Health and Its Realization", in Journal of CASS, 3 June 2004.

5WHO, Review of the Constitution and Regional Arrangements of the World Organization, EB101/7, 101st Session, 14 November 1997, available at http://www.who.int/en/index/html.

6Yang Yuguan, The Human Rights Treaties and Treaty Bodies of the United Nations, Chinese People's Public Security University Press, 2005, p. 123.

7See You Shaoxiang, The Rights of the Weak, Social Science Academic Press, 2008.

8Ross Horne, Health and Survival in the 21st Century, Chinese edition (translated by Jiang Xueqing), Beijing: SDX Joint Publishing Company, 2005, p.1.

9See Compilation of UN Human Rights Conventions and Instruments on Criminal Justice, Beijing: China Legal Systems Publishing House, 2000, p. 84.

10Ibid., p.114.

11See Su Zhi, "Citizens' Right to Health and Its Protection", (2002) 1 China Health Law.

12 See Han Shiqiang, "Studies on the Realization of Citizens' Right to Health and the Corresponding State's Obligations", (2008) 2 Times Figure.

13 Yang Yuguan, supra note 6, p. 122.

14 See Han Shiqiang, supra note 12.

15 See Jiang Yue et. al., "Textual Research on the Idea of the Right to health", (2007) 4 Academic Forum;

16 Yang Lixin, Laws on the Right to Personality, Beijing: Law Press China, 2005, p. 156.

17 See Jiang Yue et. al., supra note 15.

18 Karel Vasak, a French scholar and former legal advisor to UNESCO, puts forward the concept of "generations of human rights" and he puts social rights into the category of "second-generation human rights". He holds that first-generation human rights emerged during the period of American and French revolutions and mainly include civil and political rights; second-generation human rights appeared during the Russian Revolution and mainly include economic, social and cultural rights; third-generation human rights are the response to the global interdependence and mainly include the right to peace, the right to environment and the right to development. According to the different forms of relationship between the citizen and the state, he defines first-generation human rights as negative human rights, second-generation human rights as positive human rights, and third-generation human rights solidarity rights. Currently, western countries and some of western NGOs still maintain that second-generation human rights are far less important than first-generation human rights. And the so-called third-generation human rights-the right to development-is not recognized in the western countries. However, third world countries tend to emphasize the importance of second- and third-generation human rights. See Xia Li'an, "The Right to Health: A Bridge Between Generations of Human Rights", available at: http://www.govyi.com.

19 See Jiang Yue et. al., supra note 15.

20 See Xiong Huiping, "Explanation of the 'Poor Economics' from the Perspective of the Right to Health", (2007) 4, Journal of Sichuan University of Science & Engineering.

21 See Xiong Huiping," 'Poor Economics' from the Perspective of the Right to Health: Poverty of Rights and Its Control", (2007) 6 Social Science Research.

22 See Chen Jinghong, "The Right to Health and Medical Fairness", (2007) 9 (supplementary issue) Journal of Southeast University (Philosophy and Social Science).

23 Compilation of UN Human Rights Conventions and Instruments on Criminal Justice, supra note 9, p.110.

24 Ibid., p. 136.

25 Ibid., p. 126.

26 Ibid., p. 166.

27 These standards include: 1. carrying out education on major health problems and their prevention and control; 2. strengthening the provision of food and proper nutrition; 3. providing sufficient safe driving water and basic health facilities; 4. providing maternal and infant health care service, including family planning services; 5. providing immunization against major infectious diseases; 6. providing proper treatment to people suffering from common diseases and harms; and 7. providing essential medicine.

28 Shen Zongling, Jurisprudence, Beijing: Higher Education Publishing House, 1994, p. 190.

29 Liang Huixing, General Introduction to Civil Law, Beijing: Law Press China, 1996, p. 62.

30 See Jiang Yue et. al., supra note 15.

31 Chen Hongxia, The Idea of Social Welfare, Beijing: Social Sciences Documentation Publishing House, 2002, p. 83.

32 Royston Pike, Human Documents of the Industrial Revolution in Britain, Chinese edition (translated by Cai Shihao et. al.), Xiamen: Fujian People's Publishing House, 1983, p. 310.

33 Asbj?rn Eide et. al., Economic Social and Cultural Rights: a Textbook, Chinese edition (translated by Huang Lie et. al.), Beijing: China Social Sciences Publishing House, 2003, p. 75.

34 Zhang Wenxian, Studies on the Scope of Philosophy of Law, Beijing: China University of Political Science and Law Press, 2003, p. 315.

35 These five aspects are: 1. wide dissemination of health knowledge in the society; safeguarding of the right to primary health care; 3. access by citizens to basic medical treatments; 4. effective protection of the right to health of special groups of people; and 5. basic respect and protection of the right to public health. See Dong Wenyong, "Standards of the Right to Health and Their Implementation", in Journal of CASS, 3 June 2004.

36 Du Chengming, et. al., "The Right to Health: Its Nature as a Constitutional Right and Its Realization", (2007) 1 Hebei Law Science.

37 See Xia Li'an, supra note 18.