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Essay/Term paper: People or profits?

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Economics

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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. What's 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 can't 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 mother's womb didn't choose its financial situation, or its
parents. That baby didn't ask to be born, and it wasn't given a chance to live.
It wasn't necessarily the doctors fault, and it wasn't 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 shouldn't 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 he's healthy, and also when he's 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 don't
deserve to die, and most doctors don't 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 I've mentioned, you'd 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 don't help you
out in some way? The people who think this way obviously don't think of these
people as being human beings, having feelings, wants, and in this case needs.
When people need medical treatment to save their life, who they are, should not
be important. I think that some doctors see so much of life and death from a
physical standpoint, that the emotions of these people fade to an invisible
lining. That invisible lining is their life. That lining is what makes us

Proponents of for-profit enterprise in health care support their position by
maintaining that all persons have a basic right to freedom and thus a right to
use their property in ways they freely choose. They argue that owners of for-
profits have no special obligation to provide free services to the poor. They
think that it is being wrongly assumed that for-profits impose a burden on non-
profits by not taking the costs of caring for the poor. They say that they,
unlike non-profit, pay taxes, and in doing so, can be said to pay their share in
serving the poor through tax-supported public programs. For-profit proponents
also would like to argue the health care is a lot like food, clothing and
shelter. Just as these "basic needs" are sold on the market and distributed
according to ability to pay, so too should health care. They think that if some
cannot afford to pay for such basic needs, it is up to the government or
voluntary agencies to see that they secure it. I believe that for-profit
hospitals have gone to the extreme with their rules and regulations. They do
have an obligation just as the rest of the tax payers of this country to care
for the less fortunate. A person can get by with minimal food, clothing and
shelter, but they can't get away with minimal or no health care in their times
of trouble. The government should work on coming up with a solution to this
issue, but they should first focus on the individual businesses like the for-
profit hospitals that are giving up human life for money. So, I'm asking you,
how much are you worth? How much is your life and all that comes with it,
worth? How much is a human life worth? Ten dollars, maybe even a hundred? Of
course you can't answer this question. It is impossible and totally unethical
to place a cost or dollar amount on a human life. If you take that body away,
you are still left with a soul, or what that soul once was. Nothing can replace
it, and a doctor or business men or women, have no right to stop care for an
injured person because of their financial status. Medical businesses can't turn
people into money. In this case, a loss of money is a gain of life, and a fear
of a loss of money is a total loss of life, morals, and humanity.


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