T Nation

Health Care is Not a Right



"After all, what does a right to health care mean? If I have a right to something, then doesnâ??t that mean that you have a correlative duty to provide it? If youâ??re a doctor, then it means that you are required to serve my needs, like it or not. If I need an operation, then you cannot say â??noâ?? because that would be denying me my right to health care.

Thus, isnâ??t the right to health care actually a power to force doctors to provide people with medical services?"


This is true. It's what is known as a positive right. The right to force someone to do something for you.

We only truly have negative rights. The right not to have others do things to you. As you can see, the 2 are mutually exclusive.


Excellent idea for a thread. And I'd like to ask the same question that I asked on another thread. If health care is such a basic right as the left loves to say, how come other things are not considered a basic right? Things like a free car, free housing, free food, even free clothing. Surely those things are even more basic.


Health care is just the first volley. The other things you list will follow.....


A car is a more basic right than health care? Seriously, sometimes you Americans can really throw me for a loop.. In Norway, where I come from, health care is almost free, and the other basics (housing, food etc - not cars, however) are covered by our social services if one is unable to provide for oneself. It's still MUCH more profitable to work for a living, but most everyone is taken care of if the need arises. Sure this can be exploited to some degree, but the majority seem willing to accept that.


Not exactly. I am sure it's quite expensive - but its is a function of who pays for it.


Norway....sheesh. That's why I thank God I live in America.


Funny, I was thinking the same thing - only the other way around, of course.


Yeah, because otherwise you'd actually have to pay for stuff and um..that can suck huh? Yeah, we understand.


Sounds backwards.

We have 'positive' rights (in a state of nature): i.e the right to do anything and everything we are capable of doing.

We have no negative rights (in a state of nature): i.e. I don't have the right to be safe from x, or be immune to problem y.

My rights have nothing to do with you, unless you are preventing me from exercising my rights.


Yep, we're all about barter around here; that, and tossing free stuff to each other..

Having read some of your posts, I know you're a bright guy who doesn't need the obvious pointed out, but I'll do it anyway.
The social services-thing is a safety net. It keeps us from racking up the numbers of homeless on our streets, and gives people a chance to get back on their feet. It's a right, but it comes with a set of obligations as well - a recipient has to be willing to move to another part of the country to get work, or to enroll in courses etc to qualify for whatever work is available. It's not meant as salary for sitting on your ass doing nothing.

Now, about free health care. It's deemed far more economical to keep people well and in employment than to try to make money from the sick and injured. And since our taxes are on the high side, health care is, in a sense, not so much free as pre-paid.

Anyway, I'll leave you guys to it. Just felt like offering a glimpse of how things work across the pond.


Thanks for the information. I understand what you're saying but I also understand human nature quite well. And I think that your system can be played just as easily as the US when it comes to those who want to live off the government dole. If someone is rewarded enough for doing nothing that's exactly what they'll keep on doing.

I apologize to those who have read the following on one of my posts before but it bares repeating:

When you take money from someone who earned it and give it to someone who did not earn it you harm both the person you took it from and the person that you gave it to.


Do you people believe that if a child comes into an emergency room with a bullet in his chest, and he does not have health coverage, and his parents will never be able to pay for medical procedures, he should be turned away?


I never mentioned in a state of nature. And I never said being safe or immune from anything.


I agree with this. I just think we should do our utmost to stop people from playing the system, rather than simply doing away with it.

For example: if you are on food stamps, your license is electronically marked and you are entirely prohibited from buying cigarettes and alcohol. It's not going to solve the problem, but little things like that can add up.


If you believe he should be treated so strongly, what have you actually done to accomplish that?

Besides, I'm not aware of a non-3rd world country that would turn away someone like that.

It is not a noble thing to force someone else to do something to ease your own conscience.


My question was simple: do you think he should be treated, or not?


Unless I partake in the process, I don't think it my right to say anything.

If you didn't become a doctor and therefore cannot help him it is the same result if a person in a position to offer aid refuses it.


You want him helped, start a charity fund that provides the support or something.


There is so much logically wrong with this that I don't even know where to begin. "Unless I partake in the process, I don't have a right to say anything?" Then please never volunteer an opinion on any matter in which you are not directly affecting someone or being affected by someone...ever again. [As a side note, you DO partake in the process by helping to pay for it]

But you can avoid answering if you want bro, because if you say yes...which is what any good person would do... it will mean that you believe that people have a right to health care.

Any answer other than an unequivocal yes to the question makes you a real scumbag. And not a Christian, by the way.