Is health care a human right? | The Tylt
Is health care a human right? Advocates say people shouldn't be denied basic health care services just because they're poor, but unfortunately that's a regular occurrence in a for-profit health care system with skyrocketing costs. Others say healthcare is a service and taxpayers should not shoulder the burden of an individual's medical care costs. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are rights...not doctors' visits. What do you think?
Is health care a human right?
How can a citizen enjoy the constitutionally guaranteed right to life and liberty if they are sick or disabled? How can Americans pursue happiness if they cannot afford basic medical care for their children, their elderly parents or themselves? Martin Luther King Jr., Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the United Nations all agree—healthcare is a human right. Denying it on the basis of poverty is inhumane.
But many conservatives and libertarians think the idea of health care as a human right contradicts basic truths about free markets, government incompetence, and the rights of the individual. From FreedomWorks.org:
People can complain about the alleged unfairness of reality, but the fact is that health care will always be a scarce good. No laws can change that fact... Health care is a valuable good that would be better left to the free market.
The World Health Organization's constitution states clearly that "the right to health includes access to timely, acceptable, and affordable health care of appropriate quality." Access to health care is literally the difference between life or death—and that access shouldn't be doled out based on your wealth.
Many say health care is a service, owed to no one and one that must be paid for. To "guarantee" health care as a right infringes on the rights of others to be compensated for their goods and services.