The issue being researched in this case is that of the right to quality healthcare. The human right to health care requires that healthcare institutions, as well as healthcare practitioners, must be not only accessible and available but of high quality to the patients (Hammaker, Knadig & Tomlinson, 2016). Additionally, the universal access to health care means that health care access must be guaranteed (by the government), comprehensive, and equitable to all patients. In the current case, the government website is not functioning making it hard for the business owner to have insurance coverage. This malfunctioning frustrates the business owner and hence to a breach of the right to healthcare as well as that of universal access. The lack of the insurance coverage impedes the business owners efforts of seeking health services of his choice.
Action that would help the Business Owner
The business owner would get better help by establishing the specific government officials who have repeatedly told him what they would do to cover him but have failed to do so. Apart from suing the government, it would be critical to sue the specific individuals, as they would be the proper defendants in this case. Taking this decisive action would hold them responsible for their actions (Hammaker, Knadig & Tomlinson, 2016). This action would ensure that the suit has the proper defendants. The government should be used as an interested party as opposed to the proper respondent.
Ethical Principles at risk in this Case
One of the healthcare ethical principles at risk, in this case, is that of beneficence. In this principle, according to Fox et al. (2010), healthcare practitioners and stakeholders are required to help their patients advance their right. In doing so, they should encourage them to take insurance covers that would facilitate their treatment and diagnosis. Denying the business owner the opportunity to have a healthcare insurance cover is, therefore, a breach of this critical principle. The principle of justice is also at risk. In this policy, stakeholders in the healthcare sector are mandated to be fair to all patients and treat like cases alike (Fox et al., 2010). The fact that the business owner did not get an insurance cover does not mean that others did not. A form of discrimination and biases can, therefore, be established from the case. The principle of justice to all patients is under a massive threat.
Presiding as a judge, in this case, I would rule for the business owner. The facts of this case indicate that he has been frustrated in his efforts to obtain an insurance cover from the government. I would make two important orders in this case. Firstly, I would order the government to pay the business owner damages for the frustrations that he has gone through in his quest to obtain an insurance cover. Damages would be calculated based on his current condition and the prevailing circumstances patients (Hammaker, Knadig & Tomlinson, 2016). In the second order, I would require the government officials to provide the insurance cover to the business owner within five days. Additionally, I would order them to make a written apology to the plaintiff. This judgment would ensure that the right to healthcare and the right to universal access are upheld.
Fox, E., Bottrell, M. M., Berkowitz, K. A., Chanko, B. L., Foglia, M. B., & Pearlman, R. A. (2010). IntegratedEthics: An innovative program to improve ethics quality in health care. Innovation Journal, 15(2), 1-36.
Hammaker, D. K., Knadig, T. M., & Tomlinson, S. J. (2016). Health Care Ethics and the Law. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.What is the Human Right to Health and Health Care? | NESRI | National Economic & Social Rights Initiative. (2017). Nesri.org. Retrieved 23 January 2017, from https://www.nesri.org/programs/what-is-the-human-right-to-health-and-health-care
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