Everyone has the right to health, including health care, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Health care is a public good, not a commodity. The U.S. health care system must fulfill these principles:
Universality: Everyone in the United States has the human right to health care.
Equity: Benefits and contributions should be shared fairly to create a system that works for everyone.
Accountability: The U.S. government has a responsibility to ensure that care comes first.Visit the AIUSA website and the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative site for more on health as a human right.
And then to pass the time, sample some of the thoughtful columns Frank Huyler, the emergency room doctor who wrote one of our selections, Right of Thirst, has written the New York Daily News:
Our rotten dental care system...
One young man's war...
And he puts that storytelling experience to good use in One patient's story...
"Ma'am," I said curtly, after introducing myself, "Why did you come to the ER in the middle of the night to get your prescriptions refilled?"Ask yourself as you read is this a story that shows our health care system to be universal, equitable and accountable? What's your story?
"I didn't come in the middle of the night," she replied. "I came yesterday afternoon."
She spoke sharply enough to get my attention. I glanced at her chart once more. Sure enough, she'd been waiting for 11 hours.