Whether or not we choose to view healthcare from an ethical perspective or a legal perspective, there is one question that needs to be answered. Is healthcare a right or a privilege?
If it is a right, then no one should go without necessary treatment, regardless of ability to pay. In discussing the sick role, renowned sociologist Talcott Parsons, believes that society understands when someone falls ill. In fact, he argues that it is in human nature to want to provide care for those who are ill and unable to provide for themselves. After all, isn’t the Golden Rule to do unto others as you would have them do unto you? If you were ill, this perspective argues that you would want others to lend assistance.
On the other hand, if healthcare is a privilege it comes down to the idea postulated by Charles Darwin; survival of the fittest. This viewpoint tends to argue that while some individuals may be temporarily down from an illness, there are others who are chronically ill and will never get better. Scant resources are being wasted on those individuals who can no longer contribute in a meaningful way. Society would be better served to let these individuals fend for themselves and allow the main group to grow stronger.
For this assignment, reflect on both sides of this argument. In a 2 to 3-page paper, summarize your thoughts as it relates to the central question of right or privilege in accessing healthcare. As this is a reflection paper, there is no right or wrong answer. Be sure to support your position with appropriate references.