The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has entrenched in its provisions laws relating to fundamental human rights in sections 33 to 46 of Chapter Four.
These fundamental human rights stand above the ordinary laws of the land. Section 34(1) of the Nigeria Constitution states that “every Nigerian individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person and accordingly (a) No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment”.
Going by the combined effects of Article 12(1) of ICESCR 1966. This provision lays the foundation for treatment of patients undergoing end of life care with dignity. There is a critical need to adopt a national policy to cover the physical, emotional, practical and spiritual aspect of persons with life threatening or limiting diseases in Nigeria.
There is an ongoing advocacy for the incorporation into the national health policy of Nigeria, an end-of-life care. This call is hinged on the provisions of section 34 and 38 off chapter IV of the constitution. End of life care has been viewed as a human right issue. This is founded on the provision of Article 12(1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) 1966 and Nigeria’s subsequent ratification of the ICESCR in 1993. Section 34(1) of the 1999 constitution lays the foundation for patients undergoing end of life care to be treated with dignity and should form one of the cornerstones of the policy.
Okunowo, D., & Aminu, S. A. (2015). An analysis of some provisions of the 1999 nigerian constitution in relationship with end of life care. Global Journal of Social Sciences, 14(1), 43–48. https://doi.org/10.4314/gjss.v14i1.5