Article: Healthcare Is Not a Human Right

Of all the arguments favoring the coordination and control of the healthcare industry by the central planning agency of the state, the healthcare-is-a-human-right argument seems to be the most convincing one, even to those who may favor a free market approach to the problem of coordination of scarce health resources. How can we as a society possibly deny healthcare to someone in need? Shouldn’t the state assume that task?

Gabriel E. Vidal is the chief operating officer of a hospital system in the United States. He has a BA in politics, philosophy, and economics and an MBA in finance.

Read the Full Article by Gabriel E. Vidal

Afterwards, discuss it below.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • “How can we as a society possibly deny healthcare to someone in need? Shouldn’t the state assume that task?”

    The author is correct in regard to health care not being a right, but the statements above illustrate why this argument comes up short.

    Because the fact is that the State IS, in fact, denying health care to people as a result of its medical licensing laws, FDA regulations, drug war, insurance mandates, patents, and so on. And any argument that says that health care is not a right needs to point out that access to health care (on a voluntary basis) IS a right. And if it were recognized as such, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    • Good point, one can argue that a patient’s access to health services from any willing provider is derived from the patient’s right to his body and the patient’s and provider’s right to voluntary exchange of services.

  • Good points, dsaulw. Thanks.

  • How, then, has education become a “human right”? It seems to me few people would argue that public education should be done away with, as it isn’t something inherent to an individual. I can see a strong counterargument for education as a necessary investment to ensure a prosperous next generation…but the same can be said for health. How can such a huge, corrupted system like our current educational infrastructure not be coeval with a discussion of standardizing healthcare across the board?

    • James,

      You obviously haven’t been around principled people very long. I argue for the abolition of govt school practically every day.

      You might find The Alliance for the Separation of School and State interesting:

      • Curt,

        I’m embarrassed that my lack of interaction with “principled” people is so obvious. As a current medical student, I think that all of my peers and professors fall under the “principled” category. My point wasn’t that healthcare should be a human right because education is considered such today; instead, I was arguing from the point of view that education is CLEARLY a human right, and the same reasoning that leads to that conclusion can and should be applied to healthcare.

        I did find that website interesting. I also found the idea short-sighted. I think our current primary educational system is abismal, but that doesn’t mean I want to marginalize a substantial chunk of the population at all. And I’ve had just about enough of people citing the “founding principles” as some perfect theory…it’s religious fanaticism! If you seriously think that what a few people agreed upon almost 250 years ago accurately represents the best interests of our nation now, then you’re insane. I’m not saying they aren’t good ideas, but I trust you DO count freedom as a human right, and it wasn’t laud out as such in the original constitution, only for those who fit the proper criteria. If you’re unwilling to concede that nations aren’t subject to reform, then there’s nothing left to talk about: you’ll just continue yelling at shadows and preaching of the “olde order.”

  • So if a water company cornered the market somewhere and denied access to people who’d used it without paying for centuries, that would be perhaps uncharitable but just. I get it.

  • Gabriel,
    I appreciate that you are one of the few who actually are questioning the insanity that is the human rights movement. Thank you for taking the time to define what is and is not a human right. Not being a human right does not mean healthcare is unimportant, but it does mean that one cannot demand it from others.
    I am studying international education and must read volumes asserting that education is a human right, but the justifications for that seem to be in the same category as those for healthcare: they make a human right out of anything that “should be fair” in a perfect world. Would you agree that education, while important, is not a human right? Could you direct me to some source material that argues this case?