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19 October: Nicole Hassoun

“The Human Right to Health and the Virtue of Creative Resolve”

Abstract: The human right to health plays many important roles in national and international affairs. One such role is to inspire human rights advocates, claimants, and those with responsibility for fulfilling the right to try hard to satisfy its claims. That is, the right should, and often does, give rise to what I call the virtue of creative resolve. Hope supports this resolve which embodies a fundamental commitment to finding creative solutions to what appear to be tragic dilemmas. Contra critics, we should not reject the right even if it cannot tell us how to ration scarce health resources. Rather, the right gives us a response to apparent tragedy in motivating us to search for ways of fulfilling everyone’s basic health needs.