Buchanan: Just Because Something is “Good” Doesn’t Mean That it is Obligatory

This excerpt from Buchanan’s article delivers his arguments against the notion for a universal right to a decent minimum of healthcare. Aside from giving a thorough explannation of what is meant by a decent minimum of care, Buchanan provides details on how such a notion was created and why it has been viewed as favorable. For one, such a notion for a universal right to decent minimum helthcare feels more socially moral, and as Buchanan mentions, disagreeing with this universal right is forwned upon by the masses. In addition to that,

In my opinion, the most interesting argument presented by Buchanan, and that relates the most to what we have been learning throughout this course, is his explanation of what a “right” is in philosophy (its definition is heavily disputed) and that just because he’s arguing that there isn’t a right to a universal minimum of healthcare, doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be minimal healthcare and that that would likely be great for the world. Buchanan asserts that just because universal decent minimal healthcare would be great for society, doesn’t automatically mean that everyone has a right to it. This is a perspective that I never considered, however it is reasonable and logical, while also easing the guilt/burden of those who do wish there was universal decent minimal healthcare, but know deep down that is isn’t feasible at this day and age.

One obvious issue with this proposed universal right highlighted by Buchanan is the determination of what is “decent minimum healthcare”. s we’ve studied throughout this philosophy class, such a theoretical distinction is too ambiguous to apply to real life. How can we determine what is minimum healthcare, Buchanan asks. How do we decide who gets what care, especially since different groups (around the world) likely face different health issues and therefore require special treatments? Fortunately Buchanan does focus on this issue as he explains that is special healthcare was given, it would have to target individual groups and circumstance. An example he gave is special healthcare for African-Americans who are the descendants of former slaves. He says that if (but there’s no “if”) descendent of slaves are negatively impacted by their people’s past oppression, they should be given more healthcare opportunities-in this case, that would be completely fair since this group of people was set back in this country compared to their non-black counterparts. He also gives a similar example pertaining to Native Americans.

All in all, Buchanan provides detailed, logical, assertions that counteract the notion for the right to a universal decent minimal right to healthcare founded in the view that such a notion should not be viewed as a “right” just because it would be beneficial for many people, and that even if it were a “right” it would be nearly impossible to achieve in today’s world.

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