Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq.
One of the repeated complaints against socialized healthcare is that people don't have the right to other people's labor; that patients can't force doctors to treat them. That's an easy argument to counter because as everyone knows, defendants have the right of an attorney in a criminal trial, and if they cannot afford it, the court will provide one. That's essentially a right to someone else's labor though the attorney does get paid by the government. Similarly, if someone shows up injured at an Emergency Room, the doctors there must serve them, that's the law too; and those doctors get paid, as does the hospital, even if the patient is indigent. However, a doctor is not required to help an injured person at an accident or any other time.
The conflating of providing healthcare and “forced labor” is a specious one because it's only in hospital Emergency Rooms. Hospitals that do not want to provide that labor simply don't have Emergency Rooms. The argument isn't rather doctors are forced to work or have to work for free, but whether institutions must provide healthcare in proscribed situations. Probably, the people who don't like socialized healthcare know all of this but “no one has the right to other people's labor” sounds reasonable even though it's demonstrably untrue; ask any schoolteacher.
Categories | PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash
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