Health care a "right" or a "privilege"?

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    I have thought about this for many days, thinking about the arguments in either direction. I don't know that I have a complete answer yet. Although I feel that basic health care in most of the cases is a right, there are some exceptions. When I see patients that come to my ER as a consequence of personal negligence. I cant avoid feeling like that person is abusing of the health care system. Thus, perhaps the basic care and preventitive care should be a right. However, many of the procedures that are based on people's personal negligence, it becomes a privilege.
    Any thoughts???
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    There's a nice big thread in the activism part of AN about this. But yeah, I tend to agree.
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    Yea but they are more focus in politics and home work type of thing... I am just looking for tips or to confirm that my rationalization is normal or I am just a judgmental nurse.
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    Quote from monkago2009
    I have thought about this for many days, thinking about the arguments in either direction. I don't know that I have a complete answer yet. Although I feel that basic health care in most of the cases is a right, there are some exceptions. When I see patients that come to my ER as a consequence of personal negligence. I cant avoid feeling like that person is abusing of the health care system. Thus, perhaps the basic care and preventitive care should be a right. However, many of the procedures that are based on people's personal negligence, it becomes a privilege.
    Any thoughts???
    I'm not sure if their will ever be a complete answer with the debate from both sides

    I believe firmly that basic health care is a right or should be a right. I remember debating this with the clerk when I renewed my health card in Ontario - she was more concerned if I had lived somewhere else and I was more concerned with making a Dr's appointment (I didn't realize my health card had expired and it was an emergency to me).
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    I would hardly call it negligence when they don't have the means to access basic preventive services to begin with, OP. I don't see you as judgmental though...just frustrated with a system that isn't working &, perhaps, misdirecting the blame. The system is the flaw that needs to be fixed.
    Yes, even if our health care system was glitch-free and everyone had access to care, people still may neglect their health to the point that they choose not seek care until emergency services are necessary. Until that day, however, people deserve a chance to prove us wrong. Health disparities are too real and too abundant for us to blame the individual who hasn't had a fair chance.
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    Healthcare is a right you should feel privileged to have. Once you start mashing it up to determine if someone deserves access to it ( for example personal negligence) it gets messy. I believe that it's an all for one, one for all type deal. Acknowledge that some people abuse the system, and help educate as many people as you can to break the cycle. It's not perfect but I feel it's necessary, it's one of my personal opinions that I hold on to very tightly.
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    I have my thoughts on the matter, but I think it is important that when you clock in for your shift that you banish those thoughts from your mind. Whatever any of us thinks on the subject we have to remember that when we are providing care, we should do so without prejudice.

    That said...

    I think it is a privilege and not a right. If you make healthcare a right then you make it a right for any person out there to receive the benefits of our labor with no compensation. Piecemeal slavery if you will. We take so much abuse and stress in our jobs to begin with. Nobody has a right to simply take and take and take from us without recourse or reciprocation. Hell, for that matter it means that we must pay (via taxes) for other people to be able take from us all they wish to.
    Unless we can rule people's lives and control them sufficiently to deal with noncompliance and self care deficits, those same people have no grounds to claim they deserve our unlimited care. The CHF frequent flyer to goes home and drinks 2 gallons of water in a day has no basis to say that we are responsible for saving them from themselves.
    uRNmyway likes this.
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    Quote from stablesystole
    If you make healthcare a right then you make it a right for any person out there to receive the benefits of our labor with no compensation. Piecemeal slavery if you will. We take so much abuse and stress in our jobs to begin with. Nobody has a right to simply take and take and take from us without recourse or reciprocation. Hell, for that matter it means that we must pay (via taxes) for other people to be able take from us all they wish to.
    Unless we can rule people's lives and control them sufficiently to deal with noncompliance and self care deficits, those same people have no grounds to claim they deserve our unlimited care. The CHF frequent flyer to goes home and drinks 2 gallons of water in a day has no basis to say that we are responsible for saving them from themselves.
    I never thought of it like that. Thanks for an interesting and insightful viewpoint, and this is coming from someone who argues that everyone is entitled to health care. My only challenge is that if health care were more focused on prevention, and more people had access to preventive services, perhaps the person with CHF would be more likely to make the necessary behavior modification to stay out of the acute care setting. These patients don't stand a chance if they don't get the education they need. Again, you make a valid point.
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    I like what was said earlier about leaving that opinion outside of the hospital. Our role is to treat all patients the same, despite their healthcare status. I would say there is a level of healthcare that each person should have the right to recieve (i.e. life-saving measures). However, the privilege of healthcare is not available to the majority of the world.
    JDZ344 likes this.
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    Well, I work in a country which provides socialised healthcare, so I have a different viewpoint than those in the USA.

    I won't provide my personal opinion, because my post will get long, and political and ranty. I will say that I am glad to live where I do.
    Last edit by JDZ344 on May 14, '14


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