Last update:


Arch Hellen Med, 34(4), July-August 2017, 553-558


The human rights of patients with chronic diseases and the practical applications of the law

S. Gourgoulianni
Department of Economics, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece

The concept of human rights has preoccupied legal science, which has formulated definitions covering the fundamental nature of these rights and the reasons for their respect and protection by the state. The maintenance of health and the establishment of a system for preventing and coping with illness is an obligation of the state and, therefore, the notion of health has also preoccupied legal science. Legal science has provided various definitions in this case and the constitutional legislation has made the right to health a fundamental right of all people. Patients with chronic diseases constitute a special category because of the nature of their disease, which has a persisting impact on both their own psychology and daily lives and on the people surrounding them. Greece is the first European country that established the patients' rights by law, in 1992, but there is no special law on the rights of patients with chronic diseases. Daily medical practice reveals the particularities of the situation of this category of patients and ultimately the current law is adjusted to cope with their special problems. Patients with chronic diseases are thus granted exactly the same rights as other patients, and the nature of their illness dictates the final application of the existing law and the mode of its application.

Key words: Human rights, Law, Patients with chronic diseases, Practical applications.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine