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healthcare - Available PHIL116 Actions Bioethics Principles...

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Available Actions PHIL116 Bioethics Principles of Distributive Justice & Health Care Reform I. Is there a right to healthcare? Kinds of rights 1.) Claim right – an enforceable claim to someone’s action or non-action. It is always provided with a corresponding duty which applies to other people: Positive Right – a right to someone’s action (right to demand that someone provide one with health care) Negative Right – a right to someone’s non-action (DNR requests) 2.) Legal right – established by a court of law as a legal duty that if violated results in a punishment or penalty. 3.) Moral right – established by a moral right or moral duty. (e.g., Kant’s theory or any moral principles) In United States there is currently no legal positive right to healthcare. When a person is ill, no one has a legal duty or obligation to see to it that they receive the necessary medical treatment. Should there be such a legal positive right to healthcare? II. 4 Principles of Distributive Justice General principle of justice – “similar cases ought to be treated in similar ways” (Munson, p. 38) 1. Principle of equality all social goods including healthcare ought to be distributed equally among persons, and burden of paying for the production of those goods should also be distributed equally. 2. Principle of need all social goods ought to be distributed in proportion to individual needs – “need-based care”; individuals with greater needs will receive a greater share. 3. Principle of contribution all social goods ought to be distributed in proportion to the individual levels of contribution that went into its production where a contribution could be anything from a stock market investment to individual time and labor in a given profession. 4. Principle of effort all social goods ought to be distributed in proportion to the individual effort made in their production, where an effort is understood as working diligently in one’s chosen profession. III. 3 Views on General Distribution of Healthcare A. John Rawls (1971) “A Theory of Justice” – The Original Position 1. Rawl’s Argument 1. Any theory of justice ought to be fair, and any fair theory of justice ought to be adopted. 2. A theory of justice is fair just so long as it is based on what is fair or just. 3. In order for a theory of justice to be based on what is fair or just, the persons devising the theory must not fashion it according to their personal preferences. 4. The only way to avoid a situation in which the persons devising a theory of justice fashion it according to their personal preferences is to require that such persons devise the theory from the standpoint of the original position .
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