Health (Right to)

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Several non governmental organizations filed a protection action due to poor clinical and surgical treatment of children with congenital heart conditions treated at the J. M. de los Ríos Children's Hospital in Caracas. The action was based on the rights to life and to health enshrined in the Constitution, human rights treaties, and the Children and Adolescents Protection Law. Children had to wait for a long time to get surgery appointments. Some died while waiting and others who did get an appointment died for not being operated earlier.

Between December 27, 1995 and September 30, 1999, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) received numerous petitions filed by retired persons and several non-governmental organizations.  The petitions claimed violations of the rights to effective judicial remedy, due legal process, property, social security, health, well-being and equal protection, which are enshrined in the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man (ADRDM) and in the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR).

A group of persons living with HIV and covered by Instituto Venezolano de los Seguros Sociales (IVSS) filed an amparo action against IVSS requesting it to ensure regular and consistent supply of triple-therapy drugs and other drugs needed to treat opportunistic diseases, as well as to provide coverage of expenses of all necessary medical tests. The petitioners also requested that the effect of the decision be extended to all HIV-positive persons covered by IVSS.

A petition was filed with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) against the State of Brazil and in favor of the Yanomami indigenous community.

In its 39th session (May 16-June 3 2005), the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the supervisory body of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), issued its opinion on a possible incompatibility between the CRC and the standards in the free trade agreement being negotiated by Ecuador, Colombia and Peru, and the U.S. The Committee expressed concern about the possibility that the proposed intellectual property standards undermine the State's ability to ensure access to low cost drugs and to fulfill its obligations under international human rights law.

A group of citizens living with HIV/AIDS filed an amparo action against the Health and Assistance Ministry (HAM) due to its refusal to deliver drugs needed to treat the virus as prescribed (triple therapy). Applicants had no social security and lacked financial means to buy the prescribed drugs.

The Yakye Axa community, a Paraguayan indigenous community belonging to the Lengua Enxet Sur people, filed a complaint with the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) alleging Paraguay had failed to acknowledge its right to property over ancestral land. Given its impossibility to solve the case, the Commission referred it to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Neuquén Province's Official Defender of Minors filed an amparo action to protect the health of children and youth in the indigenous Mapuche community of Paynemil, because they had been exposed to water contaminated with lead and mercury. The applicant requested that the State be ordered to provide enough drinking water to ensure the survival of the affected community, to conduct the diagnosis and treatment of affected minors, and to adopt adequate measures to prevent future soil and water contamination.

Neuquén Province's Official Defender of Minors filed a complaint with the IACHD alleging violation of children's right to the protection required by their status as minors, as well as of rights to health, a healthy environment, land ownership and effective remedy. The Official Defender had filed an amparo action to protect the health of children and youth in the Paynemil Mapuche community exposed to consumption of water contaminated with lead and mercury.

An HIV/AIDS-positive person submitted an amparo action with Peru's Health Ministry requesting full medical care, including permanent supply of drugs and periodical testing, as well as CD4 and viral load tests. The petitioner alleged to lack enough financial resources to face the high cost of the treatment. The Court accepted the amparo action and ordered government agencies to comply with Article 8 of Law 26626, which set forth that a Plan to Fight AIDS should have top priority in the budget.