Professor Kevin Lyons
21 April 2013
Eberl, Jason T., Eleanor D. Kinney, and Matthew J. Williams. "Foundation For A Natural Right to Health Care." Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 37.6 (2011): 537-57.
Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Apr. 2013.
In this journal three professors from Indiana University come together to give a summary of the history and definitions of natural rights and laws when pertaining to health care. They conclude that with the development of the United Nations there is an international understanding that health is considered a fundamental human right, and that governments have the obligation to carry out this right appropriately. Specifically, health care policies of the qualifiers, or the countries that are a part of the United Nations, are to be judged by the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966). But before looking at health care as a human right there was an emphasis on the influence of Thomas Aguina’s definitions of natural law in these documents. According to Aguina, a Christian monk from the 13th century, a natural law must be transcultural and pluralistic and include principles which will fulfill a human being’s natural inclinations and lead to an accomplishment of human excellence. It also requires human laws, or laws that apply these natural laws. They then include actual excerpts from the UNDH and ICESC, which define the 3 types of obligations that a State has: the obligations to respect, protect and fulfill an individual’s right to health.
This journal is beneficial when looking at the moral and ethical aspects of health care and human rights. There is significant background information concerning the history and definitions of natural law, human law, and human rights, giving a good introduction to the subject. This is a critical resource for this paper since it will mostly be based on morality and the international understandings surrounding health care. It also gives specific responsibilities that a government should fulfill which can be applied to a proposal for future legislation and action in the US.
This source was the most important in the drafting of my argumentative essay. The moral and ethical aspects of health care were what I was trying to focus on for my paper mostly because of how confusing the logistics of health care can be. This source provided exactly what I needed for the history of human rights and health. The authors outlined their journal much like I decided to outline my own paper, starting with an introduction to human rights, and then combining the two issues of human rights and health care. They also wrote out all of the mentions of health care in the international documents for human rights. I believe these international documents were the most compelling part of my argument and mentioned them numerous times throughout the paper.
Forman, L. Dean. "Universal Health Care Is Not the Best Solution for the Uninsured." Health Care. Ed. Karen Balkin. Farmington Hills: Greenhaven, 2003. 121-27. Print. Opposing Viewpoints.
In this chapter of opposing viewpoints, L. Dean Forman asserts that universal health care would not work in the United States and is not the best solution for uninsured Americans. He describes and gives facts to show that universal health care did not work at the state level and then infers that this type of health care system would not work at a national level either. He also declares that universal health care will be too expensive and will be a burden for taxpayers. Instead he proposes that each part of the health care system that is made up of the government, employers, providers and insurers, must work together towards the common goal of creating an effective health care system that is unique to America.
Forman’s chapter is a source that gives an opposing viewpoint and does not support the claim that health care should be universal and a human right. It presents a different mindset when thinking about universal health care, that it has more disadvantages than advantages. Because this does not support my claim, the information against universal health care will be specifically countered by information from articles in support of it. Forman takes a look at what has been done at the state level before moving to national level, which can be beneficial as the state perspective is less complex. Forman’s style of using bullet points to give facts and spell out his reasons is also helpful when formulating a list of pros and cons.
Gable, Lance. "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Health, and the Elusive Target of Human Rights." Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 39.3 (2011): 240-354. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Apr. 2013.
Lance Gable gives a conclusive overview of the new health care legislation called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. His overview goes through each of the sections of the act, and the possible outcomes. Although this act mostly focuses on health insurance reform, Gable considers the act as a public health reform because of the indirect public health benefits that he believes will come from an increase in accessibility to care and the decrease in costs. The bill is designed to improve availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of conditions necessary for health and to prompt the government to respect, protect, and fulfill the needs of the people. However there is no mention of human rights in the bill, which Gable says is due to past US opposition to human rights legislation and international human rights treaties. His conclusion states that while the ACA does not formally recognize health as a right, it symbolizes the progress the US has made in improving public health and provides a foundation for the future of an increased relationship between health care and human rights.
This source is extremely valuable in the fact that it gives a conclusive outline of the health care reform bill currently being implemented in the US. Unlike other articles giving mostly historical information, this source can be used in the statement of the current affairs of health care, and to emphasize the relevance of the issue. Knowing what the US has already done to increase health care is helpful when looking to the future of legislation and Gable has his own proposals that can be considered. He also provides us with both the shortcomings and strengths of the bill so the reader can see both sides. Though there is mostly a focus on the actual content of the bill he still makes an important connection to the issue of human rights. This connection establishes a relationship between legislation and human rights so it can become more apparent on how the two different aspects can be applied to health care.
Graig, Laurene A. Health of Nations: An International Perspective on U.S. Health Care Reform. 3rd ed. Washington D.C.: CQ, 1999. Print.
Laurene A. Graig sets out to compare and contrast the health care systems of six industrialized nations- the United States, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan and the United Kingdom. She provides very detailed analyses of each countries system and describes each strength and weakness. All of these analyses are done to give examples of universal health care and how this type of care can be applied to the United States to produce the most effective health care for the country. These other countries have many differences in structure, so Graig makes sure to describe the political, social and economic differences between the countries to show which aspects of their health care systems may be applicable to a country like the US. The research done internationally shows that universal health care is possible, and the systems are designed to follow the rule individuals must contribute corresponding to their ability to pay. However the United States, unlike these other countries, do not necessarily hold the belief that all Americans are entitled to health care. Graig decides that if there is to be an effective health care reform, America must study countries that believe in universal health care and learn from their experiences.
Graig’s book gives a much-needed international perspective on health care. Health care is a part of every country, and although the focus of this paper is the United States it is still necessary to view it on an international scale. The research on each country with universal health care offers us examples of what does and does not work in an industrial countries health care system. There are a number of disadvantages and advantages of universal health care and Graig gives us these to see what policies should be used in the United States. Although there is no mention of ethics or human rights, this source is still important because of its information that appeals to the logos and provides us with politically, and economically realistic suggestions instead of only looking at the morality of health care.
Kingson, Eric R., and John M. Cornman. "Health Care Reform: Universal Access Is Feasible and Necessary." Benefits Quarterly 2007: 27-33. Academic Search
Complete. Web. 21 Apr. 2013.
Eric R. Kingson and John M. Cornman make the case that increased government involvement and universal access to health care will increase savings and improve the quality of care in the US. They give statistics and examples of “international experience” to support their claim and reason with the groups who have a fear that a change will lower quality of health care and of large government programs. There are many statistics comparing the US’s satisfaction, quality of care and spending to other capitalistic democracies with universal health care, specifically Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. The authors propose that the issues of unnecessary care be addressed, and the focus be put on health outcomes instead of inputs to improve quality and lower costs. They also give a moral standpoint on the issue, that providing health care to all is the right thing to do and would make health a human right, which would reduce disparities in health care outcomes that are greatly skewed by education, class, and race.
While the other articles concentrate on the morality of the subject, Kingson and Cornman give a new perspective that universal health care will actually increase the country’s savings and improve the quality of care. There are statistics and relevant studies mentioned to add to the credibility of the central argument of the article. Because it was written before the new health care act, it provides statistics measuring the dissatisfaction of the citizens with the US’s health care system before universal health care was implemented, which reinforces the claim that there must be a change. The specific international examples are also additional evidence that can be researched more in depth.
Wolff, Jonathan. The Human Right to Health. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2012. Print.
Author Jonathan Wolff seeks to put the issue of health care being a human right in a historical context, and to show all of the progress that has been made since the first mention of health in the United Nations. He uses many excerpts from the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights to begin, then looks most specifically at the HIV/AIDs movement and how this has affected the world’s view of health as a human right. He has the viewpoint that this human right can be idealistic when it comes to the application but also that people should not be so skeptical and should instead look at the issue as a movement. His conclusion is that the world’s view of health care as a right is extremely important and will continue to mature.
Because this book is from a historical standpoint and does not lean either way in the debate over human rights and health care, this is a good source to look for unbiased information from both sides of the argument. It contains background information that supplements that in the article The Foundation For A Natural Right to Health Care. This increases the credibility of the information and when implemented in a paper, will increase an audiences understanding of the topic. There is a qualitative and quantitative data, and has covered many of the economic, social, and ethical aspects of the issue while the other article focuses only on ethics. The book’s focus on human rights influence on the HIV/AIDs movement gives a good example of how human rights can affect a specific disease, which can be beneficial when applying the concept to other areas.
Overall, I thought that being assigned to do the annotated bibliography for our first draft was extremely beneficial. Having to look through all of the possible sources and analyze them all to find the most relevant information for my argument took a very long time. However I think that it helped me so much in the long run and actually ended up saving me a lot of time. Instead of just skimming through each source and only getting enough information for a couple paragraphs to put in the annotated bibliography, I decided to take almost two pages of notes for each source. Much of the information I took notes on I did not include in my annotated bibliography, but when writing each consecutive draft I was able to go back through the notes and find more facts to strengthen my paper without having to go back to the actual source. The sources I wrote about in this draft ended up being the most crucial for my argument and I was glad that I had taken the time to go through them so extensively.
I found my sources with the help of the Depaul Library website and the online database Academic Search Complete. This environment increased my skills in electronic research. I was able to find all of my electronic sources in one place by searching different key words. Specifically my key words were health, human rights, natural rights, health care, health care reform etc. The database also includes a page that includes all of the information needed to cite a source. This was helpful when putting together my annotated bibliography.
I also utlized the Depaul Library website to find my three print sources. Print sources were harder to incorporate into my drafts because of how long they were and how much information they contained, but by reading the table of contents and the section headings, I was able to find which parts of them I would be able to use.
All of the above statements are related to the learning outcome of composing in electronic environments. They also relate to the WRD 104 course goals of "developing strategies of effective research (including, but not limited to library and internet research, interviewing, field work) and learn appropriate conventions for citation, documentation, summarizing, and paraphrasing."