Missing posts / members X
Philosophy Forums was hacked on September 6th. Due to the hacker, everything between July 24th and September 6th is permanently missing. Unfortunately, automated backups had to be turned off months ago because they were crashing the server. We're evaluating how to stop this from happening again. You may be able to find your own posts in a google cache to re-post them, if you want to.

What Are the Ethical Arguments For or Against Health Care for All

What Are the Ethical Arguments For or Against Health Care for All
JagerJagger
It Is What It Is
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: May 19, 2006
Location: New Jack City

Total Topics: 9
Total Posts: 6
#11 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Oct 5, 2009 - 1:13 PM:

ciceronianus wrote:
JagerJagger wrote:
There have been cases related to this argument when it comes to experimental drugs, especially with cancer. Many cancer patients with few treatment options left have been willing to take drugs which haven't gone through the "proper" FDA channels of approval, but have shown early promise. The government denied access to these drugs and the patients have sued, with mixed results. I personally don't know how many lives would have been lengthened or saved if access to these drugs were available to these people, but it is a result of direct interference and denial on the part of the government regarding health care. It is also a form of collusion (in a negative sense) of government and drug companies.

So I dont think a constitutional right to health care necessarily needs to be written. There should be one - especially since we live in a society that is so conscious of and dependent on medical science. But there doesnt need to be one to prove that government, through various actions and deals, interfere with a person's access to medicine.



Well, even constitutional rights are not absolute. What we like to call "freedom of speech" is a constitutional right, but subject to restriction by law. The right to liberty is restricted also; I'm not free to do everything I want, let alone can, do. The restrictions are primarily based on the premise that a government generally has the authority to impose restrictions where it reasonably believes they are required for the general good, health, welfare and safety.

I haven't reviewed the cases you speak of, but suspect that the argument in favor of the regulation is that the government has reasonably concluded that regulations imposed by the FDA are necessary for the general health, and that therefore it's legally permissible in certain cirumstances to limit access to medication, the effect of safety of which has not been fully established. One may of course disagree with the law.


it's absolutely true that constitutional rights are not absolute and the 1st Amendment is a good analogy. But I think a big difference in the government's method of restricting speech versus restricting medicine is that the government does not have an official office to monitor and regulate speech, whereas they do with medicine.

With speech, the government is very reactive when it comes to restricting it. With pharmaceuticals, it is very proactive. And this proactive nature is what seems to be a restriction of one's personal freedoms regarding "life and liberty", especially for those wanting access to certain drugs they are denied access to.




sheps
PF Addict

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Dec 15, 2008

Total Topics: 110
Total Posts: 7300
#12 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Oct 5, 2009 - 1:14 PM:

JagerJagger wrote:
I don't know - if one can afford it, why not pay for it?


I agree, hence why I support the re-distribution of wealth. Tax the rich more in a recession - though I am sure that many Americans would surely label this as socialist trash. sticking out tongue
unrealist42
Resident
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jan 06, 2003
Location: City of Dreams

Total Topics: 13
Total Posts: 366
#13 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Oct 5, 2009 - 2:39 PM:

To get back to the OP, There are no actual "ethical" arguments against universal health care.

There are economic arguments and there are arguments based on a myriad of gross misrepresentations concerning freedom and choice and illegal immigrants but ethical arguments?
I have yet to see one.

The closest thing to an ethical argument about health care is that care will be rationed by the government and many people will be deprived of necessary care, but this belies the undeniable fact that necessary health care is already rationed in the US by the health care insurers who deprive far more people in a vastly more capricious and arbitrary manner than any government entity would be allowed to get away with.
JagerJagger
It Is What It Is
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: May 19, 2006
Location: New Jack City

Total Topics: 9
Total Posts: 6
#14 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Oct 5, 2009 - 2:44 PM:

unrealist42 wrote:
To get back to the OP, There are no actual "ethical" arguments against universal health care.

There are economic arguments and there are arguments based on a myriad of gross misrepresentations concerning freedom and choice and illegal immigrants but ethical arguments?
I have yet to see one.

The closest thing to an ethical argument about health care is that care will be rationed by the government and many people will be deprived of necessary care, but this belies the undeniable fact that necessary health care is already rationed in the US by the health care insurers who deprive far more people in a vastly more capricious and arbitrary manner than any government entity would be allowed to get away with.


What about ethics of taxation? If the idea of taxation is to provide a safer and better functioning society, how can health care NOT be included in that? This is assuming, of course, a non-libertarian view of taxation.

And universal health care does not necessitate government-ran health care - countries such as Japan and Switzerland require all citizens have health care - but the insurance companies are privately ran...just heavily regulated.
ciceronianus
Gadfly
Avatar

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Sep 20, 2008
Location: An old chaos of the Sun

Total Topics: 95
Total Posts: 5198

Last Blog: Regarding Senescence

#15 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Oct 6, 2009 - 7:18 AM:

JagerJagger wrote:

it's absolutely true that constitutional rights are not absolute and the 1st Amendment is a good analogy. But I think a big difference in the government's method of restricting speech versus restricting medicine is that the government does not have an official office to monitor and regulate speech, whereas they do with medicine.

With speech, the government is very reactive when it comes to restricting it. With pharmaceuticals, it is very proactive. And this proactive nature is what seems to be a restriction of one's personal freedoms regarding "life and liberty", especially for those wanting access to certain drugs they are denied access to.



That difference may be explained, though, in the law at least, by the fact that the unregulated practice of medicine and manufacture and sale of drugs presents a more immediate threat to the health and safety of the public than does unregulated speech. Government also heavily regulates transportation (DOT), workplace safety (OSHA)--which impact seriously on "life and liberty." Government even regulates, to a certain extent (FCC).
Mosaic
Initiate
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: May 27, 2009

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 46
#16 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Oct 7, 2009 - 1:58 PM:

One ethical argument (sort of) I've seen put forward by some Americans is that enforcing rights like those to food, shelter, or health care force someone to provide those goods, and that this is beyond the scope of legitimate government. I've seen the framework of positive and negative rights and claim and liberty rights used to illustrate this idea. There's positive liberty rights, negative liberty rights, positive claim rights, and negative claim rights. Positive liberty rights protect one's ability to do something; negative liberty rights protect one's ability to refrain from doing something. Positive claim rights create an obligation for others to do something for/to you; negative claim rights create an obligation for others to refrain from doing something for/to you.

Wikipedia IMO does a decent job summarizing it:

The distinction between liberty rights and claim rights should not be confused for the distinction between negative and positive rights. Both liberty and claim rights come in positive and negative varieties: your permission to do something is a positive liberty right, your permission to refrain from something is a negative liberty right, another's obligation to do something for you is a positive claim right, and another's obligation to refrain from doing something to you is a negative claim right. However, the De Morgan dual relationship between claim rights and liberty rights crosses the positive-negative rights distinction: one's positive claims limit others' negative liberties and vice versa (i.e. others are obliged to do something for you if and only if they are not permitted to refrain from doing so); likewise, one's negative claims limit others' positive liberties and vice versa (i.e. others are obliged to refrain from doing something to you if and only if they are not permitted to do so).


A person's liberty right to x consists in his permission to do x, while a person's claim right to x consists in an obligation on others to allow or enable him to do x. For example, to assert a liberty right to free speech is to assert that you have permission to speak freely; that is, that you are not doing anything wrong by speaking freely. But that liberty right does not in itself entail that others are obligated to help you communicate the things you wish to say, or even that they would be wrong in preventing you from speaking freely. To say these things would be to assert a claim right to free speech; to assert that others are obliged to refrain (i.e. prohibited) from preventing you from speaking freely (that is, that it would be wrong for them to do so) or even perhaps obliged to aid your efforts at communication (that is, it would be wrong for them to refuse such aid). Conversely, such claim rights do not entail liberty rights; e.g. laws prohibiting vigilante justice (establishing a legal claim right to be free thereof) do not thereby condone or permit all the acts which such violent enforcement might otherwise have prevented.

To illustrate, a world with only liberty rights, without any claim rights, would by definition be a world wherein everything was permitted and no act or omission was prohibited; a world wherein none could rightly claim that they had been wronged or neglected. Conversely, a world with only claim rights and no liberty rights would be a world wherein nothing was merely permitted, but all acts were either obligatory or prohibited. The assertion that people have a claim right to liberty - i.e. that people are obliged only to refrain from preventing each other from doing things which are permissible, their liberty rights limited only by the obligation to respect others' liberty - is the central thesis of liberal theories of justice.


Many Americans don't like laws that create obligations on the part of others to actually do something for another. For example, only a couple of American states have laws relating to the "duty to rescue." I.e. if I come across a person drowning nearby that I am fully capable of helping, there is no legal requirement that I do so in most places. Many seem to be opposed to any laws that violate one's permission to refrain from doing something, and in the case of second generation rights, those include providing shelter, food, or health care (or, at least, paying taxes that go to providing such things).
wbcarlos
Newbie

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Oct 10, 2009

Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 2
#17 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Oct 11, 2009 - 12:40 AM:
Subject: For Universal Healthcare
The constitution says that the federal government can provide for people's social wellbeing. If the health insurance companies won't pay out, the feds will force them to pay out. Countries in Europe that have private and public healthcare ban them from refusing to pay out as well as refusing an application. They're just highly regulated and the gov't sets the prices of medication as well. In Japan, the gov't sets the prices for all medical procedures and medications and they have top ranked healthcare system in the world according to WHO. It's absolutely ethical to have universal healthcare.
123savethewhales
Forum Veteran
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Mar 25, 2009

Total Topics: 11
Total Posts: 505
#18 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Oct 11, 2009 - 1:46 AM:

As far as constitution goes, there is the second amendment, and it's clearly being tossed aside.

As for Health Care, I think this is another one of those issues concerning positive liberty versus negative liberty. In the US we seem to follow the principle of negative liberty much more so than positive liberty. The freedom from interference really gain it's popularity after the Reagan years and has taken root since. It's one thing to give charity on your own, but should the government take from other people to ensure your right? Should the government be the one to discriminate and decide who deserves what? These tends to be the questions that pop up every time a new tax is issued to fund a new program.

But overall I think a health care tax is much less controversial than say a "tax against the obese (soda tax)", or "MTA Tax (tax to fund the NY state transit system)".

There are also free market advocates who believe in trickle down economics. Tax reduces saving (for the wealth), which reduce investment, which hurts the economy, which ultimately hurts the poor. For them government funded health insurance means less jobs and opportunity for everyone.

But if you ask me I don't think anyone knows enough about complex economic system we are in today.

Edited by 123savethewhales on Oct 11, 2009 - 1:54 AM
Caldwell
Humanite
Avatar

Usergroup: Moderators
Joined: Apr 18, 2006

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 1103
#19 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Oct 15, 2009 - 12:20 AM:

swstephe wrote:
The United States, (I assume you are talking about), is the only industrialized nation without universal health care, (I know it is a fallacy to use that as an argument, but I think it places the issue in perspective). As an American expatriate, I have to live with the fact that I'm nearly uninsurable out here. No insurance company can take the risk that I might seek medical attention in my own country because the cost of that care would wipe them out financially. It is the only nationality, (besides Cambodian), which is excluded this way. American health care has simply priced themselves out of the market, (and the American public helped, as well by becoming too reliant on two-income families).


You are talking about two different things which you confuse to be the same: "health care" and "health insurance". The former has always been a part of the American society and its policies, and therefore "universal". People can get medical care even if they can't pay for it. Indigents, those who have been provided medical care by hospitals, are taken care of by the government by subsidizing or paying for their bills. If you look at county hospitals here, you'd see pregnant women waiting in the lobby with no information to say to the nurses, yet the hospitals cannot turn them away.

The taxpayers have been paying for those who receive medical care but can't pay.

One thing about this society is that its economy is based on consumption/consumer spending. You'd see people with 2, 3, or 4 cars sitting on their driveway, plus plasma tv and computers sitting in their living rooms, not to mention overly stuffed closets for handbags and clothes and shoes, but tell them to buy health insurance and they'd say the can't afford it. Well, get rid of some of the cars then.
locked
Download thread as
  • 0/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5



This thread is closed, so you cannot post a reply.