The moral imperative for US health-care reform



A very sane, calm article has been written about a subject that has been making blood boil (mine too, obviously) in a relatively unhelpful way recently.

You can read it by clicking here.

David Gushee, professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University, in Associated Baptist Press says:

‘Those of us who enjoy access to health care could try a Golden Rule test, and ask whether we are doing unto others as we would have them do unto us if we do not fight for health care for those who do not have it. Is this how we would like our children to be treated when they are sick?’


‘We could work from Jesus’ teaching of “love your neighbor as yourself” and ask whether we can simultaneously love a neighbor and not care if they die from a treatable disease because they cannot pay for care.’

He rightly points out that

‘… for a certain contingent of American Christians, issues only become “moral issues” at the edges of life — at the beginning and the end. Providing health care for 50 million people is not itself viewed as a moral imperative; the issue only becomes morally significant if it might, somehow, just maybe, lead to more abortion or to euthanasia.’

And he even more rightly asks why we cannot care about both the fringes and the main body of human life.

‘Perhaps most importantly, he talks about the unequal distribution of access to healthcare as a “huge national scandal and an affront to the God of justice.”‘

It is good to read Christians talking sense and simple, Biblical, Godly, foolishness-to-those-who-are-perishing wisdom that puts leftist reactionaries like me to shame for our more confrontational stance.

Not that shouting is not sometimes appropriate…


One Response

  1. The presuppositions behind Gushee’s statements are that there are some nontrivial number of people “without access to” health care, and he even implies that there are some people who “die from a treatable disease because they cannot pay for care”.

    I do not believe these to be the case. If they are not the case, does it not change the ethical calculus? It is as if this man has never heard of Medicaid or EMTALA, to say nothing of charity.


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