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Health Care: Right or Privilege
The question of whether or not health care is a right or a privilege has been a disturbing issue for many decades. It presents the ethical issue of human equality and the problem of social status, age, and financial security. In most of the developed countries, it has been practiced to provide free medical service for everyone who needs it. That is the way people should live. They should treat each other humanly and kindly, irrespective of their status or amount of money they possess. People should always remain humans; they should sympathize and support each other in times of trouble, and they should never turn a blind eye to other persons problems. Health problems are the ones that become more relevant when people get older. They are inevitable and can appear in different forms and at the most unexpected moments.
Health care in the US is one of the most expensive in the world. The government explains it by saying that the US medical development and technologies are the best, and the quality of medical care is the highest among all countries. However, that does not justify why some people have the privilege over others to receive this medical care. All those people who do not have private health insurance or do not meet the category of seniors over 65 are left to solve their problems on their own. Usually, it leads them to serious health problems and money debts. All this happens because the government has neglected them and refused to provide free medical care. That is a pressing issue for many modern countries. Should health care be considered a human right or a privilege for chosen people?
According to utilitarianism as a classical theory, morally correct actions are those which lead to human satisfaction and happiness. It claims that the result always justifies the means. People should always put their interests above any rules and duties because their happiness is the most important thing (Fahey, 2010). In the case of health care problem, utilitarianism theorists would say that it is right to provide all people no matter who they are with free medical care in order to make them happy and pleased. That can mean that all the profit making insurance companies and medical institutions may endure financial losses by allowing this to happen, but eventually the people will be happy. That is the main goal of everything to achieve utility and reduce sufferings (Fahey, 2010). According to Jeremy Bentham (1776), the founder of utilitarianism, it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong. Thus, the happiness of all people who suffer from health problems is much more important than the profit of medical institutions. When the damage is inevitable, people should determine which part will suffer the most in the end. Regarding this decision, they should choose which part deserves a happy ending.
However, the idea of relativism can either support utilitarian solving, or object it. According to relativism, there is no absolute truth or validity; nothing is objectively right or wrong. Whether or not some statement is right is determined by some individual, culture, or historical period in particular. In case of health care problem, there can be two sides of the same coin. Sick people who have been refused the medical treatment consider themselves right in this situation because they feel that they deserve at least that much. Nevertheless, medical institutions and insurance companies believe in their own truth of what is right. Why should they treat someone or give them private insurance for free? Everyone is acting for his own benefit, not someone elses. That kind of behavior brings to mind the idea of ethical egoism. The main idea of this teaching is that a person should always look out for his own self- interest. People always tend to think only about themselves and make themselves happy. Selfishness is an inherent part of human nature. However, to remain humans, people should be merciful and kind to each other.
Nowadays, the issue of health care is of extreme relevance. From my point of view, relativistic vision of this situation is not completely right. Of course, every part has its own opinion and its own truth but that should not mean that the majority must suffer. Utilitarianism approaches this problem from the right angle. The happiness of majority is more important than the happiness of minority. It can relate to the saying that one should choose the lesser of two evils. Thus, I can agree with utilitarian theory and the way it can resolve this problem. If the government does not think about consequences of this privileged health care system, most of the middle class population will end up in bankruptcy with huge money debts and terrible state of health. That can lead to the decrease of population.
The technologies are becoming more and more advanced every day. However, their initial goal is to save peoples lives. How can these technologies help people, if people can not have access to them? Insurance companies agree to provide medical insurance only for the chosen groups of population. I can not agree with that discrimination towards those people who really need the medical care but cannot afford it. Every person on the planet deserves to be healthy. Health is the most important thing in life. A healthy person has many opportunities. Despite that somehow health industry has become extremely corrupt and profit- oriented. It resembles the idea of the ethical egoism theory, when everyone is acting for his own self- interest. That is not the way developed countries should prosper. The absence of morality is the main problem of modern people. They aspire to earn more money and provide themselves with perfect lives. It is impossible without hurting other people. I think people should decide what is right and what is wrong according to their inner feelings. In my opinion, health care must be a human right, not some privilege for chosen people.