Understanding the relevance of human rights in healthcare and nursing practice

Louise Terry, Roger Newham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While the NHS aims to respect the human rights of every individual, it also has a wider social duty to promote equality in the services it provides. This means that the rights of individual patients are not absolute, because the aim of the NHS is to improve the overall health and well-being of the nation. For example, certain treatments may be withheld from individuals because of the excessive cost to the NHS, or concerns about its clinical effectiveness. This article explains the origins of human rights and their function, and examines the relationship between nursing care and human rights.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere11490
JournalNursing Standard
Issue number8
Early online date9 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


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