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The 'digital transnational solidarity' and protection of health: Commentary to Principle no. 7 of the Rome Declaration.

  • Academic Journal
  • Cippitani, Roberto1
  • International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine. 2022, Vol. 33 Issue 2, p167-176. 10p.
  • BACKGROUND: Point 7 of the Rome Declaration is aimed at improving data sharing and technological and knowledge transfer as instruments to implement health policies. OBJECTIVE: The objective of the current paper is to understand if the legal framework (especially at a transnational level) may actually help to achieve the objectives laid down by Principle 7 or if some interpretative or legislative actions will be necessary. METHODS: The paper analyses the legal sources at international and EU levels. RESULTS: The applicable rules are based on the idea that the information and material are forms of 'property' of the individuals or of the states (i.e., the sovereign). According to the traditional idea of property, the owner has a sort of absolute power over the res and is entitled to exclude others from any rights over the thing. The 'property paradigm' may be useful to protect some relevant interests, but it can also affect collective interests, such as those concerning health during the COVID-19 pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: In order to build a global system for the exchange of data and materials as provided for by Principle 7 of the Rome Declaration, a new legal approach should be elaborated which takes into consideration the international corpus of fundamental rights, including research freedom, the right to health and the principle of transnational 'digital' solidarity. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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