A human right is something that people should be able to exercise. By law, no healthcare facility can deny service to any person requiring medical facilities; however, most people do not have access to health facilities because they cannot afford it.
World Health Organization’s constitution states in part, “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being” (Daniels 37). On the same note, the United Nations commented that health is a right, which is indispensable for a good living. Despite these assertions, the question on whether there is a right to healthcare continues to be a debatable one in most nations; there are also counterarguments on whether the citizens or the state should pay for the healthcare services. In most nations, there have been numerous calls to treat the right to healthcare as fundamental and most people should have access to it. This paper will support the arguments of philosopher Norman Daniels that the societal health needs must be met fairly as every person has a right to healthcare.
The first argument is that everybody faces illness and may be prone to day-to-day accidents. Therefore, maintaining and restoring health is important to enabling citizens lead quality life (Erick 8). Thus the access to healthcare becomes integral requirement, which is connected to good human life and dignity. A life, which is deprived of good healthcare, will be full of anxiety, pain, and limitations. The major function of healthcare is to maintain the normal functioning of a human being. Diseases and disabilities impair the normal operation of the body and therefore restrict the person to the wide range of opportunities that would otherwise be open to him / her (Norman 31). By keeping people close to the normal function, healthcare preserves the ability of the people to participate in the social and economic aspects of everyday life. The individual’s share of the opportunities is represented by the skills and talents, which are not used when people are sick. Providing a right to healthcare is ensuring the nation’s workforce is healthy. Although the healthcare industry contributes a large share to the country’s domestic product, it is also important to note that a nation wastes more resources when its people are not able to work and therefore become dependent on others. It is estimated that preventable diseases form about 70% of the burden of illness (Long 5).
Another major reason for healthcare to be regarded as a fundamental right and therefore provided by the state is that the poor and the marginalized in the country cannot afford medical care. The question is whether healthcare should be seen as a private good that people need to purchase using their own money or should it be provided free by the government. If everyone in the society has the resources to access healthcare, it should be regarded as a private endeavor and not a right (Long 9). Through research and findings, the reasons that have been associated to the right to healthcare are mainly represented by the need to access quality health services even by the less fortunate in the society. On the other hand, the costs of medical care have increased continuously and the majority of the middle and low income earners do not have the necessary resources (Harris et al. 76). Therefore, if healthcare was left upon the hands of individuals, there would be a huge part of the population that would be disadvantaged. Simply because some people are poor does not mean this right should be taken away. Medical care is not a commodity but a necessity, and because its cost can be beyond the reach of a person, this right should be enhanced through wealth redistribution schemes (Lenard and Straehle 34). In addition, health to the public should not be limited to the access of healthcare facilities but should also include education. For example, in preventing a nation from the AIDS pandemic, an important strategy is for the government to embark on educating the public on how to reduce the risks of infection.
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