A Legal Approach to Health Theory

Original Article | Pages: 98 - 108
  • Valiollah Vahdaninia - Senior Researcher, Center for Public Policy Studies, University of Tehran, and Director of Strategic Studies, Army University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Mir Sajjad Seyyed Mousavi - Assistant Professor, Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Paramedical Sciences, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran [Mosavi_Saied@yahoo.com]


Background: The concept of health and the right to health is one of the most important concepts in the world of thought and practice, wherein any type of defining and demarcating the concept, undoubtedly affects the health of individuals and their access to health services.

Methods: This research is based on descriptive and analytical method and its data were collected from printed sources such as books, articles and internet resources in English and Persian.

Results: Theories that underpin the concept of health have often targeted the issue individualisticly or collectivistically, which are not very defensible today, and the dominant approach is the integrated one accentuating individual and social aspects of the concept of health. The right to health, in which the health is the core concept, has been the subject of theoretical challenges that often address the minimal or maximum role of the state and government in facing with the right to health.

Conclusion: The concept of health, like any other concept, can be defined differently in various paradigms of thinking. In "biomedical paradigm", health is not having a physical disorder. The "Biopsychosocial model" considers disease a widespread phenomenon throughout the human organism. Finally, under the "rights-based approach", the right to health is a right/claim to have access to health-related facilities, welfare, and services that are also recognized in international documents. Achieving the "highest attainable level of health" requires specific conditions and requisites. Without cultural, social, economic, and political infrastructure on the one hand, and the financial and human resources available to the state on the other, such level of health cannot be obtained.


  1. Virginia A. Leary, the right to health care, note 2, 17 -23. 19. Id., at 17, 1996, p 485.
  2. Toebes, B. The right to health as a human rights in international law. Refug Surv Q. 2001;20(3):180-8.
  3. Seyyed mousavi MS. The right to health and the requirements of governments: a comparative study of Iran's legal system with international human rights instruments [dissertation]. [Tehran]: Shahid beheshti university of medical sciences; 2013. 281 p.
  4. Lyotard JF. The postmodern condition: a report on knowledge. Nozari HA, translator. Tehran: Game no; 2002. 368 p.
  5. Fay B. Contemporary philosophy of social science: a multicultural approach. Mardiha M, Translator. Tehran: Research institute of strategic studies. 2010. 360 p.
  6. Scamber G. Habermas, Critical Theory and Health. Nozari HA, translator. Tehran: Elmi Farhangi Publisher; 2017. 371 p.
  7. Lindau ST, Laumann EO, Levinson W, Waite LJ. Synthesis of scientific disciplines in pursuit of health the interactive biopsychosocial model. Perspect Biol Med. 2003;46(3 Suppl):S74-S86.
  8. Shojaei Tehrani H, Ebadi fard azar F. Principles of health services. 1st ed. Tehran: Samat Publisher. 197 p.
  9. Lindau, Stacy Tessler & others, op.cit, pp 74-86.
  10. Park John Everett. Textbook of preventive and social medicine a treatise on community health. 17th ed. Shojaee Tehrani H, Translator. Tehran: Samat; 1387. 170 p. Persian.
  11. Vahdani Nia V. Policy analysis and public policy - public policy paradigm of health systems: finding the proper conceptual framework for action [master’s thesis]. [Tehran]: Faculty of law and political science; 2010. 214 p.
  12. Franco AA, Bouma H, Van Bronswijk JE. Health care paradgms in transition. Gerontechnology. 2014;13(1):5-10.
  13. Rasekh M. Rasekh M. A theory of rights and the international human rights. Revue de Recherche Juridique. 2005;4:12-83.
  14. Ghari S. Fatemi S M. Human Rights in the Contemporary World: An Introduction to Theoretical issues Concepts, Foundations, Scope and Sources. Vol. 2. 2nd ed. Tehran: Shahre Danesh. 1389. 496 p. Persian.
  15. Ghari S. Fatemi S M. [Human rights in the contemporary world: An introduction to theoretical issues concepts, foundations, scope and sources]. Vol. 2. 2nd ed. Tehran: Shahre Danesh. 1389. 496 p. Persian.
  16. Oberlander J. Long time coming: why health reform finally passed. Health Aff. 2010;29(6):1112-6.
  17. Danies N. Is there a right to health care and if so what dose it encompass? In: Kuhse H, Singer P, editors. A companion to biothics. United Kingdom: Lackwell Publisher; 2001. p. 594.
  18. Jannati A, Jabbari Beirami M, Gholamzade Nikjoo R, Ghoddusi nejad J, Gholizade M, Naseri Asl M. [Rating services in the health system]. 1st ed. Tabriz: Pezeshki Shervin; 1391. 177 p. Persian.
  19. Shenkin HA. Rationing of health care. Lancet. 1998;352(9145):2026.
  20. Ghari S. Fatemi S M. [Human Rights in the Contemporary World: An introduction to theoretical issues concepts, foundations, scope and sources]. Vol. 1. 1st ed. Tehran: Shahre Danesh.1387. 306 p. Persian.

XML Format

XML in HBI Format


Seyyed Mousavi MS, Vahdaninia V. [A legal approach to health theory]. Iran J Biomed Law Ethics. 2019;1(1):98-108. Persian.