Chapter 1 – Health-Harming Legal Doctrines The “No Duty to Treat” Principle individuals have no legal right to health services (or to health insurance) o no legal responsibility on the part of clinicians to provide health care upon request Hurley v. Eddingfield – Indiana SC was asked to pass judgment on actions of doctor Eddingfield whose lack of actions led to death of pregnant woman o i.e. no obligation to provide health care services o medical licenses are a form of quality control NOT mechanism for gaining access to services o physician-patient relationships must be established for EACH specific illness past treatment is not enough to form legally binding relationship SC rejected notion of constitutional right to welfare nd overall access to basic necessities Examination and Treatment for Emergency Medical Conditions and Women in Labor Act – grants all individuals the right to “appropriate screening examination” o if emergency condition is uncovered, to clinical services necessary to stabilize Medicaid and Medicare create legal rights to health care benefits for people who meet criteria BUT providers can choose to participate in those programs people can access healthcare if… o they can pay for the services o they can pay for private health insurance premiums, deductibles, copayments o they have been chosen for public insurance coverage on basis of medical condition, age, or income o find health care provider who is ethics conscious and offers free treatment The Exclusion of Poverty from Protection Under the Constitution SC interpreted equal protection clause to grant protection against discrimination to certain classes—such as race, gender, and others who have suffered discrimination o NO such protection for the impoverished class Due process clause = rights not explicitly set out in constitution o never ruled that individuals have fundamental right to basic necessities o fundamental rights → religion, race, marriage are all under strict scrutiny can discriminate on basis of income (no rights for the poor) 14 th amendment (equal protection clause) = states are generally prohibited from governing in ways that single out particular groups for unequal treatment o state still passes law that treats certain groups differently than others o courts should scrutinize laws that may have been corrupted by prejudice o “discrete and insular minority” King v. Smith
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- Spring '17
- Gideon v. Wainwright