chapter  2
14 Pages

The Right to Health and the Right to Health Care

WithTom L. Beauchamp, Ruth R. Faden

This chapter examines issues pertaining to the right to health and the right to health care. It provides an overview of preliminary philosophical considerations of the logical and normative status of statements about rights. The chapter also provides a brief historical explanation of recent political origins of the idea of a right to health and a right to health care, as well as an analysis of arguments based on the distinction between positive and negative rights. Rights claims, whether legal or moral, are commonly divided into two types: negative and positive. The chapter presents general moral grounds for claiming a right to health care, and a particular programmatic approach is recommended. It concludes that the major issues about rights to health and to health care turn on the justifiability of social expenditures rather than on some notion of natural, inalienable, or preexisting rights.