Healthcare Reform - Ethical Issues

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Healthcare Reform - Ethical Issues

Healthcare Reform - Ethical Issues

Healthcare Reform - Ethical Issues


Healthcare reform is much in our minds these days. On the one hand, it is difficult to find anyone who admits to being opposed to healthcare reform. On the other hand, we may all easily foresee it is going to be extremely difficult to come up with a healthcare reform program that will satisfy everyone.

There are not less than three distinct angles, three distinct perspectives on healthcare and the "ethic" of healthcare. Each of these three perspectives has its own peculiar "ethic" and these ethics are all too often conflicting. Furthermore, not only manage we find distinct persons with distinct ethics approaching this topic from these distinct perspectives, generally each of us feels dragged by more than one perspective. Thus, for any wellbeing care restructure program to really prove ethically persuading and thriving, it should someway connection or proceed after these disparate perspectives.

Health Care as a Positive Moral Right

We have come to regard health care as something of a moral right. That is, individuals have a right to health care, and if a person has insufficient economic resources to pay for such care, we as a society have an obligation to see that poverty is not an obstacle to receiving health care. Behind this view is the assumption that health care is somehow morally different than other goods and services in our society. We feel no moral obligation to purchase a Cadillac Seville for each and every citizen. We even feel no moral obligation to purchase a used car for someone so he or she may drive it to and from work. Neither do we feel we must purchase a big screen television for each household that cannot afford one out of its own economic resources. But health care, somehow, is importantly, morally different.

We believe health is a positive moral right of each and every individual, and then the existing health care system (insofar as it can even be called a "system") is a moral travesty. Each and every day millions of Americans are denied access to basic, primary health care because they cannot afford it.

Healthcare and the Ethic of Business

Health care has not ever been an absolutely charitable endeavor. Through the ages, physicians have typically felt some professional moral obligation to provide some care to the indigent, but (at the professional level) it has usually been at the margins. After all, physicians, like most of us, have themselves and their families to financially support.

The health care industry responded to market forces. The demand for physician specialists, trained in the ever broadening ranges of medical technology, forced up specialist incomes and encouraged more medical students to eschew general practice in favor of specialties. Hospitals that had on hand the latest in medical equipment attracted these specialist physicians and their patients (and their revenue!). Hence, hospitals rose to the challenge-they expanded and modernized their facilities and installed the newest, glitziest technology as it rolled off the production ...
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