“What can we do to create a health care system that is a major contributor to the centuries-long social sustainability of a democratic nation?”
The place to start to answer that question would be the adoption of the seven values, morality, and the ethics into the organizational documents of every organization related directly or indirectly to health care from the local to national level, for the prevention of disease, care, and treatment of citizens; and reflected in its vision, intention, operating philosophy, mission(s), and objectives. In the macro-scale effort of designing a national heath care system, the morality and ethics of health care point first to the sustainability of individuals, all individuals, and the whole of that nation.
Moral and Ethical Obligations and Co-Responsibilities
Health care is co-responsible with the family and with public education to enculturate each new generation with the basic responsibilities of physical, mental, emotional and social self-care. Because all citizens are the fundamental social asset of the nation, health care is morally obligated to provide its services to all citizens equally.
Failing to provide health care to all people of the nation is immoral whether due to the commission of conscious decisions not to provide health care to everyone, or due to omission to act to provide that care. In terms of maintaining the well being of a nations’ most valuable social asset — each and every individual — the vision, intention, operating philosophy, mission(s), and objectives of public health care would contain the language to address this moral obligation.
Health Care and the Primary Value Of Equality
The illustration of the seven values below provides a very reasonable, humanitarian, and moral way of delving into the answers to the original question above.
● Is life of equal value to everyone to grow into the innate potential they brought with them when they were born? YES.
● Is health care of equal value to everyone to help maintain their quality of life? YES.
● Is everyone in this democratic nation given equal access to health care? NO.
● Is empathy, compassion, and a generalized “Love” for humanity extended to those who do not have equal access to health care? NO.
● Is there any moral and ethical justification and rationale for not providing equal access to those without equal access to health care? NO.
Considering that life is given to everyone equally, and where everyone grows into our adulthood, the quality of life is the critical criterion as the measurement of effective health care. Yet, the public knows that in many nations there is no equality of health care for everyone, and particularly the United States.
Of the fundamental social institutions, health care is basic to healthy families that are the fabric of every society. Health care is known to each of us in terms of the quality of life that we have for being healthy or to some degree of good health.
CONCLUSION: Democratic nations that do not provide equal quality and access to health care are in moral arrears to make this immoral situation morally right.
● It is not the concern of this text to discuss the means for providing equal access to health care for every citizen.
● An earthy illustration may be of use here. Imagine that a rancher has a very large herd of cattle. Some are white, some are brown, some are black, some are red, some are of various colorations, some come from other cattle herds. Some are rather big and some are rather small. All of them are equally valued by the rancher because the herd of cattle is the “working capital” of the ranch and valued as a real asset, with great potential for growth to contribute to the best mix of investing in ranching, raising hay and grains, pasturage, and so on.
Would it be reasonable for the rancher to ignore the ones that become ill and not tend to their needs to recover? Should the rancher not provide any veterinary care to those that become ill just to let them die, and leave them to rot?
The Seven Values of Socially Sustaining Health Care
The organizational development that is necessary to create an integrated local-to-national health care system will have to integrate the seven values, morality, and ethics into the intention for such a system.
LIFE sets the moral perspective of health care’s responsibilities.
EQUALITY. In a society that has chosen to pursue social sustainability, all citizens, and those in utero, are provided equal access, treatment, and care as any other citizen. Citizens would have the option to pay for additional or alternative medical services if they chose. In consideration of “equality” there would be no difference in quality of public health care service whether one lives in The Hamptons or Huntsville, Alabama, i.e., quality of care equates to equal care. Providing no public health care is immoral, and providing less quality health care equates to unethical care.
GROWTH. Equal quality of health care provides the necessary care from the neonatal stage to the elder years to help assure the capability of an individual to unlock their innate potential is not denied due to the lack of quality health care. Future generations of leaders, ingenious inventors,
humanitarians, and competent and responsible citizens would not have the capability to maximize their innate potential if it were not for high quality health care in the neonatal and through the first three years of life, and later.
QUALITY of LIFE. A moral society, one that has policies that give the family the pre-eminent position as being the most important social institution, provides health care education and high quality health care to families beginning before children are conceived.
Without the moral consideration for the development of the innate potential of everyone through good health care, millions of ingenious individuals would not be able to make a meaningful contribution to their community and society in their adulthood. Enhancing the capability of the neonatal individual’s potential is the moral obligation and responsibility of democratic governments, as well as to parents-to-be. Without thriving, growing, and developing individuals, there would be no thriving nations.
The Three Secondary Values. The three secondary values of empathy, compassion, and a generalized “love” for humanity are the defining values necessary to design a moral, ethical, and humanitarian local-to-national health care system. Without the three secondary Value-Emotions there never will be a moral and ethical health care system. Their presence is necessary for moral and ethical functioning at all levels of the health care system. Morally compromised health care systems are evidence where self-interest is the premiere value.
In a socially sustainable society, the empathy of strategic health care designers would move them in compassion to initiate those designs for the generations who would otherwise suffer from the disorganization of the existing health care system. Such action is proof of the personalized humanitarian love of all those who will be in physical, mental, and emotional distress and harm’s way.
Moral Priorities of Health Care Decision-Making
A local-to-national health care system is composed of thousands of organizations that come under ORGANIZATIONS (Social-Societal) leg of the illustration. In a society that is moving toward social sustainability all of those organizations would have the seven values, morality, and ethics deeply embedded in their organizing documents and in their policies and procedures for their strategic planning and day-to-day decisions.
As you can see from the illustration below, those organizations and the Individual/Family are the only decision-makers involved in this organic decision-making tree. What connects the individual/family to those organizations are the encultured and socialized children who eventually grow into adulthood and who become employed in some way in the health care system. Families have been and always will be the providers of generations upon generations of young adults who grow to occupy the professions of health care in one way or another. They will become the decision-makers, executives, and support staff who make moral and ethical decisions that empower a moral and ethical local-to-national health care system.
The responsibility for that decision-making rests upon the shoulders of the family and organizations in behalf of their communities and societies. In a socially sustaining society, health care is almost totally dependent upon the quality of enculturation and socialization of the family and education to embed the principles and practices of a proactive morality and ethics in children so that the children carry these ethics into their daily work and decision-making as adult health care workers.
Proactive, moral health care. Sustaining the species is a sub-set of obligations and responsibilities of a sustaining health care system. Rather than reacting by providing care after a medical or mental problem becomes known, it, for example, would proactively offer corrective genetic manipulation to remove flawed gene structures that cause generational congenital illnesses and conditions that inhibit the development of the individual’s innate potential before the child is conceived.
Designing a National Health Care System
If you as an individual citizen were to be involved in creating the designs for an integrated, holistic medical care system, what would be the top seven priorities and policies of that system? In answering that at question, remember that you are not going to “fix” the current health care industry. Rather, you would create the designs for a health care system that support the social sustainability of a democratic national society to transcend the failed designs of today’s health care industry.
The question then becomes, “What do we need to include in our designs for our new health care system that supports the larger society to become socially sustainable?” This question looks at the great arc of health care from the neonatal to era of elder citizens as it contributes to the larger parameters of a national society’s existence into the centuries ahead.
For health care and education, the perspective is to see every citizen as a social asset who has the capability of making meaningful contributions to their own sustainability, to their family, to the organizations in which they work or associate with, and society. In that case the perspective is to see the moral necessity of creating the physical, mental, emotional, intellectual, social, cultural, and spiritual conditions that empower the development of the collective potential of the nation that lies dormant in the holism of human existence in each individual. If we do not unlock the potential in individuals, then we will not unlock the innate collective potential of the nation. The conjecture is that if we give such care to each and every individual we are taking care of the whole national society as a social organism, as we would for an individual citizen.