Is health care a human right?

in healthcare •  8 months ago 


COVID-19 has really shown the problematic nature of the claim that "health care is a human right." Health care, just like any resource, is scarce. There must always be some kind of rationing, whether that rationing be done by the price system or some other arbitrary method. Thus, some will naturally be denied, either by their own volition (eg "This ache isn't too bad. I won't go to the doctor") or against their will (eg "My appointment was cancelled").

With COVID, hospitals have gotten overwhelmed. Consequently, recently in Massachusetts and New York State, the governors have ordered hospitals to not conduct certain operations in order to allow more resources to be devoted to COVID.

If health care is truly a human right, then such orders are human rights violations. Whether or not such orders are necessary is irrelevant; the problem remains: some individuals are being denied health care, and thus are being denied a human right.

Given the scarce nature of resources, there is no way to square this circle: health care resources are scarce, and thus there must be some rationing. Rationing inherently means that someone's "rights" are being violated.

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If it is, and Big Gov is violating it through laws artificially restricting supply: certificate of need, licensing... but also artificially increasing demand