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A Reflection: Summer School Law & Lifestyle

Date:21 August 2017
Author:GHLG Blog

By Dr Marie Elske Gispen, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Groningen

Most deaths that currently occur globally are the result of chronic or ‘noncommunicable’ diseases, in particular, cardiovascular diseases, most cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes. Although medical science plays an important role in reducing these diseases, law and policy are also crucial, in particular as they can ensure access to prevention, treatment, and care, and address behavioral risk factors such as smoking, excess alcohol consumption, unhealthy eating and a lack of physical exercise. Indeed, goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals is devoted to combatting and reducing by one-third all premature mortality as a result of noncommunicable diseases.

Against the backdrop, the GHLG Research Centre organized from 10-14 July 2017 its second summer school on ‘Law and Lifestyle: A human rights approach to noncommunicable diseases’. We welcomed 25 participants (LLB/LLM level, med school, physicians, practitioners, scholars) from all over the world, including Austria, England, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, St. Martin, and the Netherlands. During a week of interactive sessions, participants learned about how law and policy can best be framed to address the global increase in chronic diseases. Taking a human rights approach, key focus areas include securing equitable access to essential medicines, as well as possibilities to regulate behavioral risk factors, in particular, smoking and unhealthy diets. (See the full 2017 program.) Apart from the academic program, participants also enjoyed a social program including a city tour, welcome dinner, sports activities, and cooking workshop. Especially the last turned out to be a fun experience for all of them.

We want to thank all our guest lecturers and participants for making this such an inspiring week! We will be organizing this summer school again  from 9-13 July 2018.  If you’re interested in participating, keep an eye on our summer school website and GHLG blog for course information and announcements of registration deadlines.

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