Health Rights and Older People: Is a Convention for the Human Rights of Older People the Answer?

Room G08
Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street


This event is now complete. See below for a list of references referred to during the lecture.

A public lecture Professor Jean V. McHale, Director of the Centre for Health Law Science and Policy, University of Birmingham

The provision of health care for older people has had a very chequered history across jurisdictions. Older people have been marginalised, made vulnerable, excluded from certain forms of health care and are subject to discrimination. Isn’t it about time that we took health rights concerning older people more seriously?

At a time when the UN is exploring the potential for a UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons this lecture asks what would be the implications of such a Convention for older people and the delivery of health care services.

Following the lecture, Jean McHale will be part of a Q&A hosted by Briony Dow, Director of the National Ageing Research Initiative and Associate Professor of Ageing at the University of Melbourne.

Jean V. McHale is Professor of Health Care Law and Director of the Centre for Health Law Science and Policy at the University of Birmingham. She has previously worked at the Universities of Manchester, Nottingham, Leicester and UEA UK. She has written/edited 11 books as sole or co-author and numerous articles and book chapters. Her most recent books include European Health Law: Themes and Implications (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and Principles of Medical Law (Oxford University Press, 2017).

This event is presented by Melbourne Social Equity Institute, Melbourne Law School, and the Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative.


M.R. Brazier and B. Clough “Never too old for health and human rights” (2014)14(3) Medical Law International 133

J. Dabbs Sciubba “Explaining campaign timing and support for a UN Convention on the Rights of the Older Person [2014]18(4) International Journal of Human Rights 462

M. Freeman “Taking Children’s Rights Seriously” (1987)  Children and Society 299.

M. Freeman “Taking Children’s Rights More Seriously” (1992) 6(1) International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family52

P. de Hert and M. Eugenio, “Specific Human Rights for Older Persons” (2011) 4 European Human Rights Review 398

P. Megret “The Human Rights of Older Persons: A Growing Challenge” [2011] 11(1) Human Rights Law Review 37.