Med. pravo., 2015; 1(15): 53-65
professor, doctor of legal sciences, vice chair of the Department of Constitutional and Municipal Law, Kutafin Moscow State Law University (MSAL); member of the Expert Advisory Council at the Committee of the Russian Federation on Constitutional Legislation, Legal and Judicial Issues, Civic Society Development; member of the Public Scientific and Methodological Council at the Central Election Commission of The Russian Federation
Modern legal science knows several approaches to including the right to pharmacological support in different classifications. According to the first approach the right to pharmacological provision is regarded as one of the personal rights within the guarantees of the right to life. Under the wide interpretation of right to life, some researches include in it inter alia right to integrity of a person (i.e. right to be secured by government and right to protection against encroachments of personal freedom); right to health protection (i.e. an access to free-of-charge high-quality medical treatment); right to bodily security.
The author argues that right to life is a natural inalienable capability to protect integrity of human life and freedom to control it, guaranteed by legal norms. The main point in the right to life is the protection of life from the infringements of the state and other individuals. Right to life, as a subjective right, corresponds to the duty of the state to provide means for realization and protection. Article 20 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation establishes the provision under which “Everyone shall have the right to life”. Executing this declaratory principle, the state must provide a complex of legal remedies to secure personal life from any infringements.
The right to medical treatment is one of the values secured by the Constitution, possessed by everyone since his birth. It is a fundamental provision, a cornerstone for the whole system of personal rights and freedoms. This provision has the supreme legal status and is subject to advanced governmental protection. Hence it must have a major place in the whole system of constitutional rights and freedoms, as health provides life-sustaining activity of human body. Right to life as a subjective constitutional right must be safeguarded by norm of almost any branch of law.
According to the second approach pharmacological support is a part of constitutionally established “right to health care and medical treatment” and hence is a kind of social right. This statement may be justified by other provisions of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, inter alia Article 7 that establishes the principle of social state: “The Russian Federation is a social State whose policy is aimed at creating conditions for a worthy life and a free development of man. In the Russian Federation the labour and health of people shall be protected, a guaranteed minimum wages and salaries shall be established, state support ensured to the family, maternity, paternity and childhood, to disabled persons and the elderly, the system of social services developed, state pensions, allowances and other social security guarantees shall be established”. Under Article 41 “Everyone shall have the right to health protection and medical aid. Medical aid in state and municipal health establishments shall be rendered to individuals gratis, at the expense of the corresponding budget, insurance contributions, and other proceeds”. Besides, the second part of Article 41 establishes that the Russian Federation federal programmes of protecting and strengthening the health of the population shall be financed by the State; measures shall be adopted to develop state, municipal and private health services; activities shall be promoted which facilitate the strengthening of health, the development of physical culture and sport, ecological and sanitary-epidemiological well-being. Reading part two in conjunction with part one, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation held that the right to health protection and medical aid implies the right to sanitary and health resort treatment.
Under the Federal Law “On the Foundations of Health Protection of the Citizens of Russian Federation” medical aid is composed of several elements including medical service, organizational and technical arrangements, pharmacological provision oriented on satisfaction of human needs in safeguarding and recovering of health. According to the authors point of view, the right to pharmacological provision may be understood as an element of the right to medical aid in its both wide and narrow interpretations.
The third approach may be formulated in the next way – the right to pharmacological provision is an independent right. Nowadays one can more and more often hear the suggestion to single out pharmacological law as a branch of law or legislation. Apart from different institutional questions there are a lot of issues regarding filling the right to pharmacological provision and mechanisms of its realization. First of all, there is no clear answer on the question of correlation between “medical service” and “medical assistance”. This issue is a result of absence of a clear legal definition for “medical aid”. And even the established in the Federal Law “On the Foundations of Health Protection of the Citizens of Russian Federation” definition of medical aid (Article 2) as a “number of arrangements oriented towards safeguarding and recovering of health including medical services” does not exhaust the problem.
The next problem relates to the status of subjects of medical-law relations. Apart from defining legal status of the patient, there is an urgent need to define the legal status of other subjects of medical law, foremost the status and indications of the subjects that provide medical aid – medical workers, medical facilities etc. The legal status of state and municipal facilities as an organizational form of legal entities also lacks proper clarification under the legislation of the Russian Federation.
Drawing the conclusion one may say that theoretical definition and normative filling-up the right to pharmacological provision in modern Russia is currently on the stage of development. The absence of a system of medical provision in Russia is a result of transition to market economy when the system of health protection is financed with whatever funds remain and is not more oriented towards active longevity of citizens. At once there is an urgent need for creating a system of pharmacological provision of medical aid that is provided according to the state’s duties.
Keywords: the right to providing with medicines, right to life, right to health care and medical care, medical care, medical services.
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