People or Profits?
In Almeda County, a private hospital turned away a woman in labor because the hospital\'s computer showed that she didn\'t have insurance. Hours later, her baby was born dead in a county hospital.
In San Bernardino, a hospital surgeon sent a patient who had been stabbed in the heart to a county medical center after examining him and declaring his condition stable. The patient arrived at the county medical center dying, he suffered a cardiac arrest, and died.
These two hospitals shifted these patients to county facilities not for medical reasons, but for economic ones -- the receiving hospitals feared they wouldn\'t be paid for treating the patient. Whatís right? People or profit?
Should there be death or tragedy at the result of poverty and high health care costs, or should a business such as a hospital lose millions everyday to give health care to those who canít afford it? An average person like me would feel for the person who could not afford sufficient health insurance, and as in the case above, the baby inside that motherís womb didnít choose its financial situation, or its parents. That baby didnít ask to be born, and it wasnít given a chance to live. It wasnít necessarily the doctors fault, and it wasnít even his or her decision, because of business. Business has moved to the heart of health care, a place once relatively cushioned from the pursuit of profit that drives the rest of the U.S. economy. Throughout the history of the United States, medical institutions have largely been non-profit establishments existing primarily to serve the community. But during the past 20 years, the number of for-profit health care facilities has grown at an exceeding rate.
I think that a society as wealthy as ours has a moral obligation to meet the basic needs of all of its members. I believe that every American, rich or poor, should have access to the health care he or she needs, but the rising costs of care and a growing unwillingness of insurance companies to cover these costs, along with government spending in other areas, have almost totally restricted access to health care for the poor, the aged, and those with tragic health problems.
I pointed out earlier that an unborn child shouldnít be turned down for health care, but neither should a man with a knife through his heart. It is getting harder and harder for the aged and those with tragic health problems that can afford health insurance, to even get insured. Take an AIDS patient for example, as of right now, there is no cure and he is going to die. But how can he pay for the drugs and treatment to prolong his life without sufficient health care that will cover him when heís healthy, and also when heís dying. There are millions of cases, the boy who needs a new heart, the elderly man with a broken hip, or how about a girl playing hopscotch that was a victim of a drive by shooting. I believe the U.S. has got to find a system where people will have a chance and a choice to get the health care they deserve. Most people donít deserve to die, and most doctors donít deserve to make such a high profit from their services. If the services of doctors of any type become scarce, we as a society will be forced to pay higher prices for them, but these services are not scarce, the money people have to pay for them is.
The commercialization of medicine will lead to the abandonment of certain virtues and ideals that are necessary to a moral community. We have to have a sense of caring, compassion, and charity toward those that have had less of a chance to succeed. If you put yourself in the shoes of the people in the cases Iíve mentioned, youíd want to jump out of them as soon as you could. I believe that this case comes right down to human life and greed. I believe our society has marked the poor class as unneeded and worthless. Why spend money on someone if they donít help you out in some way? The people who think this way obviously donít think of