Is medical care a Right?

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Fri Jun 14 14:55:39 EST 1996

On 14 Jun 1996, a. j. greenwood wrote:

> In article <4p8cr1$1a45 at>,
> Bert Gold <bgold at> wrote:
> >Dear  A. J. Greenwood,
> >You cannot have a gun without someone to make or purchase it from.
> >You cannot have a printing press without having someone else
> >Human beings are social animals.
> >You are confused if you think otherwise.
> >San Francisco
> I do find myself somewhat confused at not being able to see 
> the point of view you express in your last statement.
> Are you saying that when someone does not agree with you
> that they are confused?  
> In my post on the topic "Is medical care a Right?" I took the view
> that the word entitlement is a more accurate term to describe 
> any health care system that is both mandatory and universal.
> That statement was made in  reference to some who have called health 
> care a right.  I disagree with that view.  From my point of view a 
> 'right`, one does not need cooperation or permission etc to exercise
> a right.   Nor do I have to compel others to provide their resources
> for my benefit. 

So, what's bad about having basic medical care
for all citizens as an 'entitlement' ?

Problem which I see with your point of view is
hidden in your passage above in a word ' _their_ 
resources..'. If I understand you correctly,
what you mean is:
" I am not obliged to give MY money [ thru taxes,
or whatever ] to be used for health costs of

It may appear a sound position at first glance,
but it isn't. What do your mean THEIR (or 'my')
money. Money do not exist in absolute sense. They
are just a reflection of social concordate. 
Nothing 'belongs' to you is absolute sense and
hence you can't claim absolute authority over
anything you 'legally' possess. And if a wide
enough social consensus implies that (some) of
the (so called) 'your' money be taken from 
you regardless of you wishes or not, so be it.
Sorry, if this is an unpleasant news for you.
> On the other hand having a right to health care implies that others
> willingly or not shall provide health care for those who 'will not' or
> 'cannot' provide for themselves.  That clearly implies health
> care as such is an entitlement.  Providing health care in that 
> way is clearly charity and should be viewed as such.

Yes, you can call basic health care as a 
state organized charity (same as schools
for childeren, police, etc). So what ?
Does the terminology bother you ?

> Health care as a right is more a religious view than anything else.
> It implies that others have an obligation to provide for those who
> will not or cannot provide for themselves.  Those who promote the
> view that we all have this obligation claim that  those of us who
> don't agree with them are guilty of some social crime, thus a social
> sin.  One need only listen to many who promote the health care as 
> a right to know that they demonize any who dare to disagree with 
> them as mean spirited or confused.

Again, in the above your questionable words ' those...
who cannot provide for themselves...' (in short, they
don't have money and you do). As I explained, property
rights including ownership of money are relative and
hence you can't fully escape sharing even if you 
personally don't like it.

And about demonization, I don't mean it. I simply
believe that the views above need to be implemented.

> ajg 

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