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Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 25: The Right to Health and Well Being
- “Everyone has the right to a standard of living¹ adequate for the health² 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.
- Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.”
There is so much packed in this particular UDHR Article that it is difficult to address all in a short blog. This blog will touch on pieces of the Right to Health.
Merriam-Webster defines health as the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; freedom from physical disease or pain; a condition in which someone or something is thriving or doing well².
If we can agree that there are 3 parts to a human being–body, mind and spirit–then, in order to have true healthcare or healing, we would need to consider and address all the parts–the whole–in any medication, treatment or therapy prescribed.
Some things to look at:
- Are your medical care providers addressing you and/or your family members as whole human beings—body, mind, and spirit?
- Is your current treatment or therapy getting to the source of the illness or injury resulting in true healing and you thriving and doing well?
- Do you find yourself going deeper and deeper into the medical system (one doctor after another) or are you healed and thriving?
- What kinds of things are you putting into your body, mind and spirit? Are they promoting health and healing or are they covering up symptoms, or worse, destructive?
- Are you surrounded by people who build you up or people who have ways of nullifying³ you–making you feel smaller?
- What changes do you need to make or actions do you need to take for you to thrive and do well?
Take time to answer the questions above and decide how much responsibility you are willing to take for your own health.
Another key point to consider about health is a famous quote by Greek physician, Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food.” Not only does everyone have the right to food but the right to nutritious food so we are able to maintain healthy bodies and minds.
This quickly leads into the need to keep our environment clean (air, water and soil). Without nutrient-dense soil that is free from toxic pesticides and insecticides, our foods have little chance of being “medicine”. Organic foods tend to be more expensive, hence, the standard of living adequate for the health of self and family rises. However, one could argue that if nourishing foods are going into the body, it would reduce the high cost of medical care on the back end.
There is clearly plenty of work to do to bring this human right to life and make a fair and free world for us all. How do you want to help?
¹Standard of living – Standard of living refers to the material basis of well-being, which is reflected in a person’s consumption level. Standard of living of an individual or group of individuals is determined by their access to resources, which comprise of both cash and non-cash income. https://ophi.org.uk/policy/gross-national-happiness-index/
²The derivation or origin of ‘health’ is before 1000; Middle English helthe, Old English hǣlth. See hale, whole, from dictionary.com
³Nullify – to make null, to make of no value or consequence. invalidate or cancel the effectiveness of something; to deprive of effective or continued existence. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nullify
Post By: Ellen Firestone