López, Glenda, et al. v. Instituto Venezolano de los Seguros Sociales (IVSS)

Expediente No. 00-1343, Sentencia No. 487
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The Petitioners were a group of people living with HIV covered by the Venezuelan Institute of Social Security (IVSS). They filed an amparo action against the IVSS requesting that it ensure a regular and consistent supply of HIV triple-therapy drugs and other medicines necessary for treatment of opportunistic infections, and that IVSS cover the expense of all necessary medical tests.

The Petitioners also requested that the effect of the Court’s decision be extended to all people living with HIV covered by the IVSS.

The Court held that the IVSS had a constitutional obligation to ensure access to a regular and consistent supply of HIV medicines and testing services for people living with HIV covered by the IVSS. It ruled that the omission alleged by Petitioners, namely the lack of access to HIV medicines and testing services, constituted a violation of the right to health. It further held that the omission was a threat to the right to life and a breach of the right to the benefits of science and technology and the right to social security enshrined in the Constitution of Venezuela and international conventions.

The Court also extended its holding to all people living with HIV covered by the IVSS. The Court extended the scope of the decision to include all people living with HIV covered by IVSS who legally qualified for social security benefits and who requested IVSS to supply drugs. This coverage included the cost of treatment-specific medical tests. All people living with HIV covered by IVSS were thus empowered to invoke this decision rather than resort to litigation to obtain medicines and treatment services.

"Regarding the alleged violation of the right to health, it is enshrined in Article 83 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which provides:

"Article 83. Health is a fundamental social right, an obligation of the State, which will ensure as part of the right to life. All persons have the right to health protection and the duty to participate actively in their advocacy, and to comply with sanitation and health measures established by law in accordance with treaties and international agreements and ratified by the Republic "(underlining in this room). From the wording of the rule before transcript can colleagues that the right to health as an integral part of the right to life, has been enshrined in our Constitution as a fundamental social right (and not as mere 'determinations Finnish state » ), whose satisfaction is mainly to the State whose organs they operate targeted elevation (progressive) quality of life of citizens and, ultimately, to the collective welfare. This implies that the right to health does not end in mere physical care of a person to disease, but it extends the appropriate care to safeguard the integrity, mental, social, environmental, etc., of persons and of local communities as collective imperfect, while not having a special legal status that gives them personality in its own right.
To accomplish these purposes, the state action must establish by law a management structure capable of meeting the constitutional requirements outlined above. Thus, the Social Security Act (published in the GO Extraordinary No. 4322, dated October 3, 1991), was created the Venezuelan Institute of Social Security, functionally decentralized entity of the government, to serve as governing body of the social security system, whose outstanding obligations in the case under consideration - one that he ordered medical care to members."