Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads as follows:
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.We discussed the following questions in class:
- Is there a human right to medical care?
- Is it morally wrong to deny people access to medical care? If so, why?
- Suppose there is a right to medical care, is it the case that some Americans are denied this human right?
Here is an argument made by one of my students:
- The right to medical care is basic in the following sense: without medical care one cannot be healthy enough to live a potentially fulfilling life.
- Living a potentially fulfilling life is a desirable thing.
- Hence, we should make sure that people have the opportunity to live a potentially fulfilling life.
- In order to make sure that people have the opportunity to live a potentially fulfilling life, we need to make sure that they are healthy enough to do so.
- Therefore, we need to make sure that people are healthy enough to live a potentially fulfilling life. (It would be morally wrong to deny people access to medical care.)