Equality in Health Care: Christian Engagement With a Secular Obsession
Engelhardt, H. Tristram
Christian Bioethics. 1996; 2(3): 355-360.
A frenetic search for equality lies at the center of much secular and even "Christian" bioethics. In a secular world, if one does not believe in God, if this life is one's whole existence, it would seem that one could not settle for less than equal approbation, especially equality before the risks of suffering and death, which medicine promises to ameliorate. Yet, the concern for equality in health care is puzzling. After a modest level of access to health care there is little difference in average life expectancy. Are concerns for equality in health care even vaguely Christian? The pursuit of Christian perfection has never been correctly equated with state-imposed egalitarianism. Furthermore, an all-encompassing, secular, egalitarian health care system may provide equal access to significantly immoral medical treatments. In contrast to secular thought, the call of Christianity is a call to holiness, not a call to an egalitarianism that superficially resonates with certain elements of Christian thought.
Access to Health Care; Bioethics; Christian Ethics; Coercion; Conscience; Death; Ethics; Freedom; Health; Health Care; Health Care Delivery; Health Insurance; Health Personnel; Indigents; Insurance; Life; Medicine; National Health Insurance; Public Policy; Resource Allocation; Secularism; Suffering; Theology;
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Engelhardt, H. Tristram, Jr. (2005-04)At the beginning of the twenty-first century, with vocations to the Christian religious orders of the West in marked decline, an authentic Christian presence in health care is threatened. There are no longer large numbers ...