Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.


Friday, December 07, 2007

Is Health Care a Right or a Privilege Reserved for the Wealthy?

Article 25.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

This is pulled from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was created in 1948.

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories."

I have a small booklet, which I received my first month at Partners, which has these very same rights printed in it. Why have we, as a nation, drifted away from distributing to our nation what at one point we agreed were fundamental rights of all people? Could it be, that perhaps, we don’t want people to know what their rights really are?

I understand this document is not the Constitution, and we as a nation are governed under the ideas and basic rights outlined in the Constitution. But at some point, more specifically, in 1948, our nation agreed also that the above rights were the basic rights of all people. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was intended to be meaningful to all countries and in all societies. When did we lose our way in this regard?

I hope you take a few minutes out of your day to read this entire declaration.

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