health care

Paul Arveson (
Fri, 24 May 96 10:35:52 EDT

Jim Behnke wrote:

There was a brief thread a few days ago about medical ethics, but it seems
to have died. I would like to keep it going. I teach a class called
"Ethical Issues in Science," and about one-third of it refers to biomedical
ethical issues.

I can't tell whether you support the concept of "universal health care." Will
you discuss this in more detail? It would be useful information for the
students in the course.


Jim Behnke, Asbury College, Wilmore, KY 40390


I have recently become favorable to "universal health care" as a result of the
news of the past year or two. By universal health care I mean:
1. Everyone in a nation has a standing right to emergency care.
2. Everyone should have access to a doctor and should have a medical data
file that is locally maintained and secured.
3. The emphasis of medicine should be on prevention and elimination of
contagious diseases (such as TB, AIDS, Malaria etc.) and diseases caused by
pollution (such as some cancers). Vaccinations should be mandatory.
4. The health care should be funded by taxes and employee/employer
insurance premiums.

The benefit to everyone is continued freedom of movement in a
pollution-free and disease-free environment.

The point is this: we live in an increasingly crowded world. Our cities
are fundamentally dependent on freedom of movement. If that free access is
lost, or perceived to be lost due to the presence of disease carriers, then
everyone will suffer greatly, whether rich or poor.

"He made from one all every nation of men to live on all the face of the
earth" (Acts 17:26). We are all one species biologically. Care for my brother
is care for me.
"Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who
loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but
nourishes it and cherishes it..." (Eph. 5:28-29). To care for the health of
another is not ONLY compassion and altruism, it is ALSO self-interest. It is
perhaps incorrect to try to distinguish these in the case of health care.

Paul Arveson, Research Physicist
(301) 227-3831 (W) (301) 227-1914 (FAX) (301) 816-9459 (H)
Code 724, NSWC, Bethesda, MD 20084
"Practice thoughtful kindness, and helpful acts of beauty."