Table 2: Palliative Care and the Right to Life

Examples of Human Rights Violations

  • Unable to obtain pain medication, an AIDS patient is unable to adhere to required treatment and continue taking antiretrovirals. As a result, the patient does not have much time to live.
Human Rights Standards Treaty Body Interpretation
ICCPR 6(1): Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life. None.

Other Interpretations

HRC General Comment 6: Explaining that the right to life “should not be interpreted narrowly” or “in a restrictive manner,” and its protection “requires that States adopt positive measures . . . to increase life expectancy.” Paras. 1 and 5 (1982).