Support the Café

Search our Site

Europe bishop on the rights and responsibilities of health care provision

Europe bishop on the rights and responsibilities of health care provision

The Rt Rev. Pierre Whalon, Bishop of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, has written an essay in the Huffington Post, wading into the debate surrounding the provision of health care in this country.

Whalon argues that while we might extrapolate from our Declaration of Independence an inalienable right to health care, as essential to the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, funding that right demands that we commit to these goals for everyone – and that each individual takes responsibility for staying as healthy as possible.

To return to the Declaration of Independence, its idea of human rights depends upon the Creator: we are equal in the sight of a loving god, who desires us to “have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Besides food, drink, clothes and shelter, good health is necessary to enjoy these, which are a function of one’s work. Since medical care is necessary to maintain good health, it follows that each of us must have access to it. That is, health care is a right.

…Therefore the question is how to fund this right.

It’s banal. We all know it. The United States has a poor health care system, compared to dozens of other countries, by all statistical accounts. It begins with infant mortality rates, and it ends with decreasing life expectancies for certain categories of citizens. The huge growth of publicly-traded health care companies has twisted the reason why medical care exists. Those companies are naturally more focused on shareholder value than their clients’ health.

This is the single greatest reason, out of a myriad of complexities, for the fact that Americans spend the highest percentage of national wealth on health care but have worse health overall than literally dozens of other nations. …

Yes, access to health care is a basic human right. And since that is so, like all the other rights we have, enforcing this right is the business of all. We are individually responsible for keeping as healthy as possible. We are as a nation responsible for making basic health care available to all.

Read much more of Whalon’s argument from economics and ethics here.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café