dwyer and sherwin on healthcare

dwyer and sherwin on healthcare - PHL116 Delivery of Health...

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PHL116 Delivery of Health Care Introduction: In a sense, contemporary medical ethics is only just coming to terms with issues of race and gender in health care and medical research. The articles in this section represent a subset of the kinds of issues being addressed, including views as to how to restructure medical ethics and the health care profession in order to cope with the lack of equity in the current American health care system. 1. James Dwyer, “Illegal Immigrants, Health Care, and Social Responsibility” Dwyer is concerned with current responses to the issue of providing illegal immigrants with health care. He asks, “Do societies have an ethical responsibility to provide health care for them and to promote their health?” He identifies two predominant responses: (1) the argument from nationalism —that only American citizens, who are in this country legally, should be given health care and (2) the argument from humanism —that all people (in the world) should be given health care. He thinks “the first focuses too narrowly on what we owe people based on legal rights and formal citizenship” and that the second “focuses too broadly on what we owe people qua human beings” and that “we need a perspective in between.” (246) - Illegal immigration is complex – it involves men and increasingly more and more women who perform menial tasks for little compensation. The various ethical frameworks to which we may appeal, claims Dwyer, do not adequately deal with this complexity. __ A Matter of Desert Dwyer considers 2 laws that have been debated in the courts concerning providing health care to illegal immigrants. The first, the “Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act” (1996) made illegal immigrants ineligible for Medicaid, but the government did continue to reimburse states for emergency service for illegal immigrants. The second proposal, Proposition 187 came on the books in California (1994) proposed to deny publicly funded health care, social services and education to illegal immigrants. Only those immigrants who had a medical emergency were given care. 59% of the voters approved this bill, but it was never implemented. Dwyer considers the kinds of arguments that were on the floor when the proposition was being considered: (1) Illegal immigrants should be denied public benefits because they are in the country illegally. - Dwyer claims this is not a good argument, because many people break the law and it is an open question whether this should disqualify people from public services—it really depends on a lot of factors. - For example, many people break tax laws (2) Argument from Desert: Why should illegal immigrants be given more comfort and consideration than our own citizens? Or, in other words, given our limited budget for 1
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health care, US citizens and legal residents deserve health care more than illegal immigrants. -
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This note was uploaded on 06/15/2011 for the course PHL 116 taught by Professor Sullivan during the Fall '09 term at University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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dwyer and sherwin on healthcare - PHL116 Delivery of Health...

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