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Health Information as a Human Right: From Justification to Practice

The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated how necessary clear and accurate health information is and yet how vulnerable people are to mis- and disinformation. The objective of this article is to put forth a sound argument, based on both policy and philosophical doctrine, on why people—regardless of citizenship—have a right to accurate, current health information. Evidence is provided to show that access to quality health information is a human right asserted by the United Nations, and academic writing from scholars of philosophy is explored to put forth a moral assertion that agrees. Finally, practical measures are offered for librarians and other information professionals to promote these rights in their institutions and communities—for example, by teaching health and information literacy skills while pushing back on disinformation flooding communities in times of crisis.