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Opinion Question: Health a human right or privilege?

ruyi593

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I know this may sound like a silly question, but I genuinely would like to know if it is safe to mention my personal belief that healthcare is a fundamental human right in my personal statement. I understand that there is controversy over this question, primarily due to its slippery spiral into a conversation about political position and view towards health insurance/other related topics, so I am wondering how adcoms read this.

I sentence in my PS talks about how I come to believe that it is a right and my desire to serve in underserved communitites.

Thank you in advance!
 
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ChymeofPassion

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Insert personal belief when appropriate, follow up with understanding common counterpoints to your belief, conclude with your belief. If you expressed a hard-line, I know I would as an interviewer I would grille you with hypotheticals till you recognized possible flaws in your thinking, which isn't a good look. Just be measured.
 
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jhmmd

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ruyi593 said:
I know this may sound like a silly question, but I genuinely would like to know if it is safe to mention my personal belief that healthcare is a fundamental human right in my personal statement. I understand that there is controversy over this question, primarily due to its slippery spiral into a conversation about political position and view towards health insurance/other related topics, so I am wondering how adcoms read this.

I sentence in my PS talks about how I come to believe that it is a right and my desire to serve in underserved communitites.

Thank you in advance!
Neither. If you meant health insurance, I believe that health insurance is neither a right nor a privilege. Yet, how can you be healthy w/out health insurance?

Human health probably lies more under the realm of public policy/circumstances.
 

Tyrese

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It is in your best interest to always read what the school's mission statement is, since the adcom that will be scrutinizing your application will think that way. Remember that it is never prudent to introduce your personal opinions, since that can make or break you. Make the right choice, OP. Good luck.
 
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LizzyM

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I know this may sound like a silly question, but I genuinely would like to know if it is safe to mention my personal belief that healthcare is a fundamental human right in my personal statement. I understand that there is controversy over this question, primarily due to its slippery spiral into a conversation about political position and view towards health insurance/other related topics, so I am wondering how adcoms read this.

I sentence in my PS talks about how I come to believe that it is a right and my desire to serve in underserved communitites.

Thank you in advance!

To play devil's advocate and to hear the questions your statement may trigger:
Are you going to be an activist for human rights including the right to health care? If you want to be an activist, why not be an activist rather than a doctor? Does the right to access health care include the right to access it fi you have no funds to pay for it? Will you serve in underserved communities without pay? If not, who do you expect will pay for your service to those who cannot pay?
 
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BunnyMan17

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Just my personal opinion but I think it would be fine, albeit higher risk/higher reward, if 1) You still can articulate your journey to medicine and 2) You don't make bold claims without anything to back them up. Like LizzyM pointed out, you're likely going to trigger the devil's advocate trap card. Which isn't in and of itself a bad thing... but how would you feel if someone started making bold to boldish claims but couldn't answer even basic follow up questions?
 

Cornfed101

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I think the politics arises in, who is paying for it? And what is included in “healthcare?” Does it include cosmetic plastic surgery? Birth control? If birth control is covered how about infertility? When viewed from 30k feet it seems like a very black and white topic, but it is very likely that an interviewer will want to get into the weeds if you bring it up. Be prepared for that!
 
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proudofmykids

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Your opinion is a can of worms that once opened, can’t be closed.
What kind and how much healthcare is included by your opinion?
A Right at what societal cost?
What behaviors do patients need to confirm to in order to maintain that right? (Should society pay for healthcare for a five pack a day 500lb smoker with all the chronic typical maladies? )
Who is responsible to pay for that right of healthcare?
How much healthcare is included in that right? (ie: $2M dollar ICU bill to keep a 99year old alive in a coma etc)
When do you turn to hospice to manage healthcare availability and affordability to the many?

Many other controversial questions go along with your open ended opinion statement.
 
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readmypostsMD

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don’t say that. The benefit is marginal (I can’t imagine a reader being like “omg finally!! this is what we’ve always needed!”) and therefore isn’t worth the risk of rubbing some people the wrong way. As with most policy, Comrade Bernie vastly oversimplified M4A
 
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jhmmd

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Hazle said:
Socialized healthcare is preferable. But only if the country can pay for it. Someone has to foot the bill. At the moment, we are unable pay for universal healthcare. Unless we institute higher tax rates
Agree with you and would argue that even w/higher tax rates, the concept of "universal healthcare" is a pipe dream and unmanageable. Funds too freq. are earmarked for causes other than their true intentions, politicians and the govt. are corrupt, someone else down the line makes a mistake, etc. It's dangerous and risky to think that we could safely and fairly provide for everyone--for FREE. There's just no such thing as a free lunch. I think adcoms are looking to see if people are mature enough to realize this, but some faculty might have different opinions.
 
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Damson

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I sentence in my PS talks about how I come to believe that it is a right and my desire to serve in underserved communitites.
I think this is fine, but as an extension to @LizzyM 's question (Will you serve in underserved communities without pay?)

You should also describe how you'd like to embody your policy position instead of just explaining what it is. For example - that you'd like to work in a free clinic at underserved areas over the long-term.
 
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readmypostsMD

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Socialized healthcare is preferable. But only if the country can pay for it. Someone has to foot the bill. At the moment, we are unable pay for universal healthcare. Unless we institute higher tax rates

+ too much gov power, corruption
+ reduced innovation (future generations have less access to drugs etc)
+ incentives unhealthy behaviors (obesity, smoking, etc)
+ ignores some root causes of increasing healthcare costs (ie maybe we should first try investing more in public health b4 trashing the current system)
+ sets precedent for gov to nationalize other industries
+ will incentivize cheaper mid level encroachment into physician work
+ ignores possibility of strategically socializing certain parts like EM
+ one estimate out of Emory says many ppl will end up paying more in taxes than in premiums
 
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Cryc_to_the_point

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Access to lots of truly essential things aren't rights. We can be very pro healthcare and healthcare access without the logical leap of assuming it's a "human right." Much of the problem with the US system is an illogically divided and limited market. Regardless of what we may view as the best solution, it needs to address funding, access, and most importantly incentives.
 
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ciestar

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Nobody should die because they’re poor. I was once the underserved. It sucks to have to forego care because you don’t have the money for insurance (my job made too much money for medicaid), parents to help you out with money and they’re also uninsured, and you cant pay the medical bill once you get it. So i suffered with kidney stones in a lot of pain. Good times.

That was all pre-ACA, once that became a thing I finally could afford it and definitely took advantage to finally seek care from multiple medical professionals.

Also, I’d absolutely take a pay cut to work with the underserved if something were done with my loans. My school’s COA is 85k per year. At this point, my husband has a good job, and if i had to live on 100k as a physician, id still be happy as ive had to live on a hell of a lot less in the past.
 
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ciestar

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I think the politics arises in, who is paying for it? And what is included in “healthcare?” Does it include cosmetic plastic surgery? Birth control? If birth control is covered how about infertility? When viewed from 30k feet it seems like a very black and white topic, but it is very likely that an interviewer will want to get into the weeds if you bring it up. Be prepared for that!
(Sorry for the third post in a row :whoa:)

Yes, something has got to give. As someone else said, Bernie oversimplified implementing M4A. It would never work in the system as it stands right now.

But birth control and access to contraception should never be a debate. This is such an archaic idea by now small groups of people. Obviously we can’t let religion dictate policy. That’s a whole other can of worms.
 

Cornfed101

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But birth control and access to contraception should never be a debate. This is such an archaic idea by now small groups of people. Obviously we can’t let religion dictate policy. That’s a whole other can of worms.

but I guess my counter to that is, why is infertility never covered by insurance when it is a medical condition? As someone who has spent thousands of dollars of my own money in that space it feels pretty stupid
 
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deleted480308

(Sorry for the third post in a row :whoa:)

Yes, something has got to give. As someone else said, Bernie oversimplified implementing M4A. It would never work in the system as it stands right now.

But birth control and access to contraception should never be a debate. This is such an archaic idea by now small groups of people. Obviously we can’t let religion dictate policy. That’s a whole other can of worms.
Should never be a debate that other people owe you products/services? That actually sounds very debatable
 
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deleted480308

I know this may sound like a silly question, but I genuinely would like to know if it is safe to mention my personal belief that healthcare is a fundamental human right in my personal statement. I understand that there is controversy over this question, primarily due to its slippery spiral into a conversation about political position and view towards health insurance/other related topics, so I am wondering how adcoms read this.

I sentence in my PS talks about how I come to believe that it is a right and my desire to serve in underserved communitites.

Thank you in advance!
I think you are wrong but if you can articulate it well while understanding opposing opinions I wouldn’t hold it against you
 
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ciestar

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Should never be a debate that other people owe you products/services? That actually sounds very debatable
I also said access.
Either way, if you’re paying a premium for insurance, that should be covered.

That said, birth control leads to less pregnancies.. the anti-abortion crowd should WANT this
 

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Is a two pack a day smoker entitled to lung cancer treatment? Is someone with cirrhosis secondary to NAFLD from overconsumption of sugar sweetened beverages entitled to a new liver? Where does ownership and personal responsibility for one’s own health fall into the realm of healthcare being a right?
 
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deleted480308

I also said access.
Either way, if you’re paying a premium for insurance, that should be covered.

That said, birth control leads to less pregnancies.. the anti-abortion crowd should WANT this
So does forced sterilization but that’s not a good idea

plenty of room to be against elective abortions and still believe you don’t owe other people goods and services
 
D

deleted804295

Is a two pack a day smoker entitled to lung cancer treatment? Is someone with cirrhosis secondary to NAFLD from overconsumption of sugar sweetened beverages entitled to a new liver? Where does ownership and personal responsibility for one’s own health fall into the realm of healthcare being a right?
These are great philosophical questions and should be where the discussion is focused upon!

We should all agree that ordinary means of healthcare for all is necessary. What constitutes ordinary vs extraordinary treatment is where the real discussion lies.
 

readmypostsMD

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Is a two pack a day smoker entitled to lung cancer treatment? Is someone with cirrhosis secondary to NAFLD from overconsumption of sugar sweetened beverages entitled to a new liver? Where does ownership and personal responsibility for one’s own health fall into the realm of healthcare being a right?

So true. You’ll get the results you economically incentivize.
 
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LizzyM

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What if we were to define a right as "you have the right to receive care. In other words, you cannot be turned away because you are not a citizen, or you are foreign born, or because you don't go to church, or because you go to the wrong church, or you are unmarried, or over 80, or any other characteristic that one might be disccriminated for." That would be to say that every human deserves to have access to care and should not be discriminated against due to age, race, sex, citizenship, national origin, etc. Do we have a right to health care just as we have a right to buy a home in any neighborhood we wish (provided we can afford property in that location). Or is health care like k-12 education that should be paid for by the taxpayers but might be somewhat limited with "better" or a broader array of services available if you go outside the public system?
 
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jhmmd

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LizzyM said:
What if we were to define a right as "you have the right to receive care. In other words, you cannot be turned away because you are not a citizen, or you are foreign born, or because you don't go to church, or because you go to the wrong church, or you are unmarried, or over 80, or any other characteristic that one might be disccriminated for." That would be to say that every human deserves to have access to care and should not be discriminated against due to age, race, sex, citizenship, national origin, etc. Do we have a right to health care just as we have a right to buy a home in any neighborhood we wish (provided we can afford property in that location). Or is health care like k-12 education that should be paid for by the taxpayers but might be somewhat limited with "better" or a broader array of services available if you go outside the public system?
Very good question with one simple answer: no. I say let the chips fall where they may.
 

jhmmd

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TwoHighways said:
Is a two pack a day smoker entitled to lung cancer treatment? Is someone with cirrhosis secondary to NAFLD from overconsumption of sugar sweetened beverages entitled to a new liver? Where does ownership and personal responsibility for one’s own health fall into the realm of healthcare being a right?
Maybe if they have health insurance/can pay for it on a sliding scale, or something like that, but we shouldn't incentivize certain txs, procedures, or dzs
 

jhmmd

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Sorry for so many posts but I wanted to clarify the post responding to LizzyM's question: yes, discriminating against someone by denying them healthcare SHOULD be illegal; however if the person can't pay for the procedure/tx then it shouldn't be illegal not to do it
 
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Damson

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Go ahead. Say healthcare is a human right.

Any adcom that disagrees is trash.

Edit: Idk why this became a health insurance conversation. It's *not*. It's a philosophical discussion.
These are great philosophical questions and should be where the discussion is focused upon!

We should all agree that ordinary means of healthcare for all is necessary. What constitutes ordinary vs extraordinary treatment is where the real discussion lies.

TOS violation in the first post? @gyngyn

@Sunbodi it's actually a financial and ethical discussion. Policymaking requires consideration of both. It concerns me that you don't want to talk about the former. If we can't pay for it, we can't pay for it. But we can make it so that we can pay for by hiking up income tax rates. Do the majority of Americans want that? Not sure. There's other concerns as well - What is the role of out-of-pocket payments such as co-payments and deductibles? Should all care be free for everybody? Who decides how the care is to be paid for? Should care be provided by a single entity? Should private firms have a role to play in this, or should insurance be socialized? If the Sanders plan is able to remove the out-of-pocket costs such as co-pays and deductibles, what would that do to people’s propensity to overuse services?

See Could Universal Health Care Work in the U.S.? - [email protected]

I don't have a firm position on this issue because I don't know enough about it. So I'm always looking out for good arguments from peeps who know more than I do. People's positions on social issues, either simple or complex, are molded by their own exposures and experiences we don't have a clue about. Maybe we shouldn't call professors trash for disagreeing with you.
 
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proudofmykids

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TOS violation in the first post? @gyngyn

@Sunbodi it's actually a financial and ethical discussion. Policymaking requires consideration of both. It concerns me that you don't want to talk about the former. If we can't pay for it, we can't pay for it. But we can make it so that we can pay for by hiking up income tax rates. Do the majority of Americans want that? Not sure. There's other concerns as well - What is the role of out-of-pocket payments such as co-payments and deductibles? Should all care be free for everybody? Who decides how the care is to be paid for? Should care be provided by a single entity? Should private firms have a role to play in this, or should insurance be socialized? If the Sanders plan is able to remove the out-of-pocket costs such as co-pays and deductibles, what would that do to people’s propensity to overuse services?

See Could Universal Health Care Work in the U.S.? - [email protected]

I don't have a firm position on this issue because I don't know enough about it. So I'm always looking out for good arguments from peeps who know more than I do. People's positions on social issues, either simple or complex, are molded by their own exposures and experiences we don't have a clue about. Maybe we shouldn't call professors trash for disagreeing with you.

Back during Obama's first presidential run against McCain, it had been well studied that the US Public was willing to tolerate just under $100B annual budget for universal health care. Unfortunately, imo, there was a great opportunity missed to educate the public as to just what care could be covered for that amount, including care and financial limits, and hospice as a tool to stay within public financial opinion. Unfortunately, the education opportunity was squandered once death-panels were labeled by the Republicans, despite having originally supported the desire for universal health care.
 
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gyngyn

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first part of #2
#3

These?
  • Be courteous and contribute positively. If you disagree with someone, be courteous and stay positive in your response. Negativity is harmful to our community. Repeated negative posts will result in removal from our community.
  • Treat everyone with dignity and respect. We are open to discussion of challenging topics, but we expect all members behave professionally and treat each other with dignity and respect.
 
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gyngyn

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Calling a conceptual entity "trash," while not entirely positive, is relatively mild and seems to have been used for emphasis, not as a character assassination.
If a user calls you (or another member) trash, that would be against ToS.
 
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