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Most nations have constitutional right to healthcare, not U.S.

Most nations have constitutional right to healthcare, not U.S.
U.S. one of 86 countries with no right to healthcare in the world. Actress Angelina Jolie Special Envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, speaks during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Women and Peace and Security at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on June 24, 2013. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, July 26 (UPI) -- Uruguay, Latvia, Senegal and more than half of the world's countries have a right to public health and medical care, but not the United States, researchers say.

The study, published in the journal Global Public Health, found the United States is one of 86 countries that does not guarantee their citizens any kind of health protection.

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First author Dr. Jody Heymann, dean of the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues examined the level and scope of constitutional protection of specific rights to public health and medical care, as well as the broad right to health at two points in time: August 2007 and June 2011.

Despite the fact that all U.N. members have universally recognized the right to health and the right to health was written into the original foundational document establishing the international body in 1948, a constitutional definition of what health protection actually is varies widely between nations.

Further, how such protections have been implemented also varies widely, Heymann said.

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