Promote the General Welfare to Ourselves and Our Posterity: The Founding Documents of the United States and the Nation's Health Care Debate
Bengtsson, Bengt-Ola S
Medicine, health care, and philosophy 2011 Aug; 14(3): 249-55
A recent online discussion asked whether healthcare for Americans is a constitutional right or a privilege. One can debate whether one can extract a legal right to healthcare from the Declaration of Independence depending on whether one sees it is a philosophical or as a legal document. The Constitution of the United States of America lists "promote the general welfare" and protect "ourselves and our posterity" as some of its aims. Perhaps this would demand the inclusion of certain basic health services such as immunizations and antimicrobial therapy for every citizen; even for illegal immigrants, in order to protect the public. America must decide whether health care is a privilege or a right! If it is a privilege, one must accept the exclusion of some individuals and the unintended consequences of epidemics. If it is a constitutional right, one must accept paying for that right with increased taxes and the unintended consequences on the economy. But who should pay, how much and for what?
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Code of Ethics: To Keep the Visual Welfare of the Patient Uppermost at All Times; to Promote in Every Possible Way, in Collaboration With This Association, Better Care of the Visual Needs of Mankind; to Enhance Continuously Their Educational And Technical Proficiency to the End That Their Patients Shall Receive the Benefits of All Acknowledged Improvements in Visual Care; That No Person Shall Lack for Visual Care, Regardless of His Financial Status; to Advise the Patient Whenever Consultation With an Optometric Colleague or Reference for Other Professional Care Seems Advisable; to Hold in Professional Confidence All Information Concerning a Patient and to Use Such Data Only for the Benefit of the Patient; to Conduct Themselves as Exemplary Citizens; to Maintain Their Offices and Their Practices in Keeping With Professional Standards; to Promote and Maintain Cordial and Unselfish Relationships With Members of Their Own Profession and of Other Professions for the Exchange of Information To the Advantage of Mank Foster, George E.; Bailey R. Norman; Werner, D. Leonard; Roth, Michael S.; Sterling, John; Classe, John G.; Haffner, Alden N.; Creasey, Larry; Walls, Lesley L.; Marenco, Marc (1994-06)