The connection between environment and health has been well studied and documented, particularly by the World Health Organization. It is now being included in some legal instruments, although for the most part caselaw does not explicitly make that connection. Neither the right to life nor the rights to health or to normal development are actually cited in the resolution of cases and in judges' decisions.
This volume makes the connection explicit in a broad review of human rights and legal issues associated with public health and the environment. It will be particularly useful as many legal instruments emphasize the right to 'development' without fully discussing the necessary safety and public health aspects, and the respect for the ecology of any area where such 'development' (often unwanted by local or indigenous communities) is to be located. Climate change is another pressing variable that is considered, and several chapters address the interface between human health and ecological conditions. Overall the book integrates perspectives from a wide range of disciplines, including ethics, ecology, public health and epidemiology, and human rights and law.
Table of Contents
Foreword Roger Brownsword. Prologue - Ecological Integrity, Human Health and the Czech Democratic Tradition: From Jan Hus to Josef Vavrousek J. Ronald Engel. Introduction Laura Westra, Colin L. Soskolne and Donald Spady. Part 1: Health and the Environment. Summary Introduction. 1. Life, Health and the Environment: the Denied Connection Laura Westra. 2. Keeping Nature Alive: Ethical Principles on the Environment and Human Health in State Statutes Katy Kintzele. 3. Human Rights, Environmental Duties: An Ecological Interpretation of International Law Megan Mitchell. 4. The Common Heritage Principle and Public Health: Honouring our Legacy Prue Taylor. 5. Aldo Leopold’s Concept of Land Health: Implications for Sound Public Health Policy Paul Carrick. Part 2: Ecosystem Services and State Responsibility for Public Health. Summary Introduction. 6. Valuation Ecosystem Services as an Instrument for Implementation of the European Landscape Convention Joseph Sejak, Pavel Cudlin and Jan Pokorný. 7. Less Energy, Better Health? Jack Manno. 8. Canada’s "Rogue Nation" Position on Asbestos Colin L. Soskolne and Kathleen Ruff. 9. Public Health and Primary Prevention: Past and Present Opportunities and Barriers Vladimir Bencko and John Quinn. Part 3: Public Health Issues. Summary Introduction. 10. Public Health Care in the Time of Transition: the Need to Revert to Basics. Donald Spady. 11. Migrants’ Access to Healthcare in the Czech Republic: Ethical Challenges Helena Hnilicová and Karolína Dobiášová. 12. Gender, Violation of Human Rights and Mental Health Yuliya Lyamzina. 13. The Efficiency of Cost-Control Policies in Health Care: Does Economic Efficiency Imply Sustainability? Tomas Zeleny. Part 4: Climate Change, Water and Public Health. Summary Introduction. 14. Ethical Obligations of Individuals to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Don Brown. 15. Domains of Climate Ethics Konrad Ott and Cristian Baatz. 16. Climate Change and Law: A Constitutional Perspective. Antonio D’Aloia. 17. International Groundwater Law Joe Dellapenna. 18. Environmental Protection and the Human Right to Water: Complimentarity and Tension. Part 5: New Approaches. Summary Introduction. 19. The Challenges of Creating New Human Rights Kathleen Mahoney. 20. The Protection of Cultural Landscapes and Indigenous Heritage in International Investment Law Valentina Vadi. 21. "Some for All, Forever": A Southern Perspective on Poverty, Access to Water, Environmental Health and the North-South Divide Louis J. Kotzé. Part 6: Environmental Laws and Human Health. Summary Introduction. 22. Are Cows "Climate Killers?" Franz-Theo Gottwald. 23. Food Security, Public Health, Financial Regimes and International Law John Quinn and Vladimir Bencko. 24. Re-Examining Health Protection in International Environmental Regulation William Onzivu. 25. The Human Impact on the Ecosystem: Past, Present and Future Brunetto Chiarelli. 26. Introducing the Rule of Ecological Law Geoffrey Garver. Conclusion. Lawrence Gostin. Notes on Contributors. Index.
Laura Westra is Professor Emerita (Philosophy) at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and Sessional Instructor at the Faculty of Law at both the University of Windsor and the University of Milano (Bicocca), Italy.
Colin L. Soskolne is Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Canada.
Donald W. Spady is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Health in the School of Public Health, both at the University of Alberta, Canada.
"To address the multiple crises of our time we need to completely reground and redeploy our knowledge systems in these light of this understanding. And to do this we need a wholly new narrative about ourselves, our planet, and our place in the Universe. Confronting [Ecological and Economic]Collapse aims to help reconstruct our master narrative, and thereby envision of a restored and flourishing future for life on Earth." – from the Foreword by Peter G. Brown, McGill University School of the Environment, Montreal, Canada