Tag: healthcare is not a right

Life is Tragic but Free Health Care is Malevolent

By Casey Ward | United States

We live in a world where existence is suffering and health is one of the main factors. As a result, many believe in a bitter dichotomy: make health care a human right or let nature harm the ill and injured. However, this is not the case, as market health care systems can still provide valuable services. But regardless, when nature takes its course the result is merely tragic. On the other hand, free health care is malevolent, as it violates bodily autonomy and property rights.

Life is Full of Tragic Events 

When tragedy strikes, it may be hard for people to cope, but there are ways of coming to a point of acceptance. Many lives today are increasingly chaotic, with tough relationships between friends and family. Tragedy, though, can bind a group of people at their weakest time, bringing unexpected newfound strength. Of course, nobody is suggesting that tragedy is a good thing for society, or that we should welcome the death of those without health care. Quite the opposite is true, and again, market-based health care has done wonders for the country to save lives. This is not always possible, though, and despite the awful finality of death, there can be a subsequent community benefit.

When Tony Dungy lost his son in a tragic suicide, the Indianapolis Colts rallied around him. After years of detachment, they started to believe in his coaching style. They started to do better as a team and ended up winning the super bowl just two years later. While he was dealing with the death of his son, the teammates confessed that while other “teams” were just a group of guys who work together, they had become closer, an actual team.

Of course, trading in that camaraderie and the ring for his son back would be an easy move for Dungy. The value of human life is indisputable and infinite. But everything happens for a reason, and actually, some others did see self-improvement stemming from the tragedy. One player who despises hugging, not having hugged his own children in a decade, gave the coach a long hug to symbolize the connection they now held.

Life is tragic, and there is almost no way to extinguish tragedy. But if we commit malevolent acts, life can become miserable, unbearable even.

The Alfie Evans Mistreatment

That is exactly what happened in the case of the toddler Alfie Evans. Alfie started showing “seizure-like” motions and was rushed to the hospital. After over a year on life support, the doctors decided to save resources by pulling the plug and letting him die. The issue is that the pope had offered to fly the family to Italy and pay for treatment, so the family appealed to the British courts for permission.

However, when Judge Justice Hayden was confronted with the decision he said “The sad truth is that it is not. With little, indeed no hesitation, that I reject that.” The judge and doctors claimed that his brain was too far degraded to make treatment worthwhile.

But in the past, we have seen people with extreme mental disorders still have a meaningful life. For example, we look towards E.P., the patient who suffered from amnesia after damage to several key structures in his brain. If someone who can’t even remember where the kitchen is in his own home could still have a good life with his wife and kids while making great strides for science, who knows what could have come for the life of Alfie Evans? However tragic his life may have been, E.P.’s wife said he would have been extremely happy that his struggle made a difference in how doctors treat other people. That is all he expected in life, and he got it.

Free Health Care is a Scam

When people take the personal autonomy away from you, they claim to own you. This is exactly what happens under government-run “free health care.” In Canada, you can go get help for anything whenever you want. So, people go to treat minor illnesses and injuries constantly. This should be good, however, the price is far too high.

Wait times have increased by 177% since 1993, with a median wait of five months between referral and treatment. The system actually affects patients with life-endangering conditions the most, which is backward and absurd. Cancer treatment should always come before managing the flu. But according to Heritage.org, the Canadian monopoly often does not operate this way. It appears that free health care does not give much freedom to live.

“If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”- John Stuart Mill

Even when judges and doctors in the U.K. agree, they do not have the power to say who lives. This is especially true in the Alfie Evans case, where the government was not going to pay a penny. As tragic as the entire situation is, these decisions are up to individuals and families. Free health care did not save Alfie Evans, and would not have done a thing to save Tony Dungy’s son. It is ineffective, malevolent, and far worse than the worst of accidental tragedies. 

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The Problem With Making Everything a Right

By Indri Schaelicke | United States

The issue of healthcare and many other potential government-provided services is often a hot topic during races for election. As we gear up for midterm elections this November, we are sure to hear many of our left-wing candidates promise to enact policies which declare certain goods and services, like healthcare, a right of the people. There is a major problem with this idea.

To start, an important distinction must be made between positive and negative rights. Positive rights are rights which impose a burden or duty on others to provide a good or service at any given time.

Negative rights are a prohibition on certain acts by the government or some other party. For example, people have a right to not have their property stolen by either the government or an outside party. The Bill of Rights is an enumeration of the things government cannot do to private citizens.

Most people agree with the idea of negative rights. They see the very real threat of a tyrannical government coming into existence if it is not restrained by negative rights. Our founding fathers found negative rights to be so valuable that many of their home states refused to ratify the Constitution without a Bill of Rights. Only after James Madison wrote the Bill of Rights did the Anti-Federalists come on board with the ratification of the Constitution.

Part of the reason that there is currently a movement to expand positive rights is that the lay public tends to confuse access to a good or service with a requirement to provide a good or service. It is easy to say “healthcare should be a right” when you want everyone to have access to high quality, affordable care. However, unless a closer look is taken at what that truly means, we may quickly find ourselves at the bottom of a slippery slope, wondering how we managed to end up there.

Rights are something that are undeniable by the government. When goods and services are made a “right” it becomes mandatory that they be available for citizens at any time. This means that someone must be on hand to provide the “right” at any moment, a slippery slope to conscription and tyranny. For example, if healthcare is declared to be a right, doctors can be forced -at the threat of violence- by the government to treat someone. In essence, private citizens will be conscripted into providing services for people they do not know, at less pay than they would receive in the free market. Plus, the goods and services would be provided at lower quality as the government would be responsible for collecting the inputs and resources used in production and is likely not an expert in the field. Going back to the example of healthcare as a right, bureaucrats- who do not have degrees in medicine- would be responsible for ordering the supplies and tools available to the doctors to use during their procedures. Only the doctors know what equipment is best for a given procedure, so much inefficiency would result.

Our political culture must reverse course and move in the direction of advocating for less positive rights. Voluntary interactions between two consenting parties always create the greatest gain possible because each participant will only complete the transaction if it benefits them. When government forces individuals to provide services on behalf of another citizen, only one part is voluntarily interacting, and the gains are not nearly as great. Capitalism incentivizes high-quality production because that is what generates the greatest profit. As a nation, we should say no to government redistribution of our services and allow the free market to allocate them.