The rights of the medically uninsured: an analysis of social justice and disparate health outcomes.

  • Chandler M
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As technological advances in the United States continue to improve the effectiveness of medical interventions, expectations among Americans of both improved health and extended life expectancy have also increased. At the same time, many of the population continue to lack the insurancenecessary to access even the most basic healthcare services (Institute of Medicine, 2004; Tunzi, 2004; Saha & Bindman, 2001). With approximately 18,000 avoidable deaths attributed annually to inadequate medical coverage and 43.6 million individuals currently without insurance benefits, the needto address the disparity in access to treatment and a means of social justice in the distribution of health care is all too clear (Crispen & Whalen, 2004). As a nation relying on market mechanisms to regulate the costs and quality of available health resources (Baldor, 2003; Saha&Bindman,2001), the welfare of society as a whole may soon be threatened by the provision of marginal services to a select minority as increasing numbers of the uninsured continue to experience less favorable clinical outcomes and higher mortality rates (Tunzi, 2004; Litaker & Cebul, 2003; Jackson, 2001;Sox, Burstin, Edwards, O'Neil et al., 1998). The author will first examine the consequences of being among the growing number of uninsured individuals in the United States. Attention will then be given to exploring the social justice issues inherent in this critical problem and evaluating theseissues through the perspective of both libertarian and feminist theory. Using these theories, innovative strategies for attaining distributive justice in the provision of health care will be offered with recommendations for utilizing these alternative approaches to develop and implement futurehealth policy. (Journal abstract)

Author-supplied keywords

  • 3335
  • 4305
  • Civil/Legal Rights
  • Health and Health Care
  • Insurance
  • Rights
  • Social justice

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  • M Chandler

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