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EU Health Law & PolicyThe Expansion of EU Power in Public Health and Health Care$
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Anniek de Ruijter

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198788096

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198788096.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 February 2021

The EU Constitutional Constraints on the Intrinsic Relationship of Values, Rights, and Human Health

The EU Constitutional Constraints on the Intrinsic Relationship of Values, Rights, and Human Health

(p.176) 7 The EU Constitutional Constraints on the Intrinsic Relationship of Values, Rights, and Human Health
EU Health Law & Policy

Anniek de Ruijter

Oxford University Press

The main thrust of this last chapter is that, while the EU’s power in public health and health care is expanding, the current constitutional doctrines for constraining EU power in the field of human health are not designed specifically with human health in mind and therefore are not capable of safeguarding the values and rights that are intrinsically connected to human health law and policy. The constitutional setting of the EU affects the place and protection of values and rights in EU health law that are central to the health law of the Member States—values and rights such as human dignity, equality, and solidarity. At Member State level, EU law affects health law, as it is approached as a barrier to trade, whereas at EU level, health law is re-created, but its inherent values are often depoliticized through science or lose significance in light of ‘higher’ internal market objectives. If the EU is expanding its powers in human health, and there are constitutional constraints to offer fundamental rights protections to individuals and populations, the legitimacy of EU power in health can be questioned. Hence, considering the reciprocal relationship of health policy with fundamental rights and values, EU health policy has an important role to play in the legitimacy of the EU political system itself, and this might involve taking a step back from its growing power in the field of human health.

Keywords:   EU constitutional constraints, EU constitution, EU power limitations, EU depoliticization, EU public health, EU health care, EU fundamental rights

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