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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

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Do Human Rights Matter More Than Public Health?

Do Human Rights Matter More Than Public Health? - BSMS Lecture Series

Wednesday 4 November 2020, 6:30pm-7:30pm

Do Human Rights Matter More Than Public Health? Lessons from the COVID-19 and HIV Pandemics.

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About this session

COVID-19 has pushed many of us to ask ourselves: Is public health more important than my personal freedom? Contact tracing, mandatory quarantine, and isolation have been among the basic measures for controlling COVID-19 and other pandemics in the past. But are these measures infringing on our basic human rights? To what extent is it possible to protect our freedom and our health? 

It turns out that marginalised communities that have been at the forefront of HIV prevention (including LGBTQ+, sex workers and drug users) can teach us a lot about protecting both our health and our freedoms. This session will explore the role of our individual freedoms and collective responsibility in the pursuit for public health. 

Dr Marija Pantelic is a Public Health Lecturer at BSMS and an HIV activist.

This lecture is part of the Brighton and Sussex Medical School's Monthly Lecture Series, designed for local secondary school and college students. This lecture series, running from November 2020 through to July 2021, provides a unique opportunity for students to learn more about different aspects of medicine, career pathways, and how to get into medicine.

This talk will be conducted via the Zoom videoconferencing software.
Please note, the contents of this lecture will include discussion of drugs and sex work.

If you have any questions about this event, or the monthly lecture series, please email the Outreach Team via

Book your place here >