Promote the general welfare to ourselves and our posterity: the founding documents of the United States and the nation’s health care debate [Book Review]

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 14 (3):249-255 (2011)

A recent on-line discussion asked whether healthcare for Americans is a constitutional right or a privilege. One can debate whether one can extract a legal right to healthcare from the Declaration of Independence depending on whether one sees it is a philosophical or as a legal document. The Constitution of the United States of America lists “promote the general welfare” and protect “ourselves and our posterity” as some of its aims. Perhaps this would demand the inclusion of certain basic health services such as immunizations and antimicrobial therapy for every citizen; even for illegal immigrants, in order to protect the public. America must decide whether health care is a privilege or a right! If it is a privilege, one must accept the exclusion of some individuals and the unintended consequences of epidemics. If it is a constitutional right, one must accept paying for that right with increased taxes and the unintended consequences on the economy. But who should pay, how much and for what?
Keywords Declaration of independence  Healthcare  Rights  U.S Constitution
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11019-010-9288-6
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 47,443
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

A Theory of Human Motivation.A. H. Maslow - 1943 - Psychological Review 50 (4):370-396.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

‘We the People of the United States…’: The Matrix and the Realisation of Constitutional Sovereignty. [REVIEW]Kirsty Duncanson - 2011 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 24 (4):385-404.
The Goals of Health Work: Quality of Life, Health and Welfare. [REVIEW]Per-Anders Tengland - 2005 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 9 (2):155-167.
Citizen–Patient/Citizen–Doctor.Tom Sorell - 2001 - Health Care Analysis 9 (1):25-39.
Should We Create a Health Care System in the United States?Laurence B. McCullough - 1994 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 19 (5):483-490.
Health Care Reform in the United States.Chris Hackler - 1993 - Health Care Analysis 1 (1):5-13.
Health Reform in America: The Mystery of the Missing Moral Momentum.Lawrence D. Brown - 1998 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 7 (3):239-246.
Collective Protest Actions by Licensed Health Professionals.Paul J. Reitemeier - 2000 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 9 (4):449-459.


Added to PP index

Total views
20 ( #471,057 of 2,292,016 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #823,434 of 2,292,016 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature