A fascinating characteristic of humanity is that human beings think and that we have developed to a point where we can in our thoughts look beyond our everyday necessities, looking for the very reason for life itself.
Within this overall context students of civilization say that there has been a growing attitude of humanism within our collective development, that all human beings are equal to each other in their importance and that all are collectively deserving of what is referred to as “human respect.”
These notions are reflected within our religions and often expressed as acts of charity.
In looking at the science of medicine, one element of our civilization, we can see that it has not only grown out of an interest in the search for knowledge but out of a concern for human welfare as the medical profession practices the use of medical knowledge in the interest of human beings, a practical expression of humanitarianism.
This is a profession not practiced in a vacuum but in the the United States within a system that expresses and embraces the economics of selfish betterment, a system in which human beings are not equal but where some are more worthy than others, thus we have a class structure to which we have accommodated ourselves.
Doctors, the principle agents of the practice of medicine have achieved the highest respect in the United States because their work is recognized as humanitarian in its very nature. We respect and generously reward them.
But counter to the attitudes of equality and humanitarianism, in a money based economy not all can avail themselves of these services.
In the sophistication of medicine, the overall costs and values of health services have become so high that the business acumen has intruded itself into these services, further contributing to increasing costs so that not all can avail themselves of what under some of these basic principles might be considered to be “collectively deserving services” in the same sense that only some are to own expensive foreign cars.
Today however, we have the so-called health care industry and health care insurance as businesses with business attitudes dominating the function and delivery of this service. Medical service and now business dominance of this service places the two entities into conflict.
This conflict exists primarily because we have not asked the justification of the for-profit role of the insurance industry as it relates to our civilized notion of humanitarian service. In the past the church, not-for-profit managed hospitals and medical services in the interest of charity and humanitarianism, doctors practicing independently.
It would seem today, studied from a point-of-view of what our civilization is that in the United States we would consider private health insurance companies, non-human entities as the economic and social robots essential and basic to providing this service.
Although it would also seem that principles of commerce have no business in the establishment of a process for aiding the sick, for these entities are engaging in money matters and can not be expected to have compassion, we readily accept deal-making or insurance contracts as the way to support the practice of medicine.
Americans, unlike other countries have not be able to break through toward the concept of humanitarianism in considering the delivery of medicine as we are possessed, perhaps more than other countries by a money-making system.
However, we have left our attitudes of our humanitarianism to be expressed through our churches and tax-except organizations and it seems more for the needy who are over seas than for those close to home.
At this stage in human development, when the concepts of human equality have become the top aspirations of civilization that some other method for delivering a humane service, the health of its people must be sought.
Shouldn't our thinking capacities today put us in a situation where we could pursue other methods for delivering medical and health care services, ways that assure our security here at home?