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Health - a Basic Human Right

In: Social Issues

Submitted By Br33zy
Words 1530
Pages 7
Can healthcare be considered a basic human right?

Over the past century, the term "health" has been redefined over and over to come to a more exact and appropriate meaning so that consensus can be reached. The World Health Organization came up with its first definition of health, as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."(p. 26) However, many people criticized and questioned the words "complete", "mental", "social", "disease", "infirmity" and their meanings. Daniel Callahan eventually proposed a short yet solid statement on the definition of health, as "a state of physical well-being."(p.66). Why has so much effort been made to determine a proper definition of health? Because it is important to us. Health is an essential aspect of our lives and its significance cannot be minimized. Therefore, it is natural for humans to pursue good health. But consequentially, does that give humans the right to healthcare? According to the WHO Constitution, "the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being…" In order to attain that standard however, healthcare services are required. Services such as treatment, diagnosis, and prevention provided by medical practitioners play a vital role in people's well-being. One might say that it is their responsibility but on what grounds? In this paper, I argue that healthcare is not a basic human right because for one, physicians should not have a moral obligation to serve the public and two, the resources available will not be able to satisfy everyone's healthcare demands.
A right to healthcare puts pressure on the people who practices medicine. Ostensibly, it becomes an obligation that needs to be fulfilled but in reality, this obligation imposed on medical practitioners to provide service to each and...

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