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Despite the fact that access to treatment should be a priority, some may argue that these medications can be dangerous if misused or taken advantage of. Yes, these medications are drugs and can be lethal, but should the irresponsibility of others take away the needs of others? In the article titled “Abuse and misuse of Antidepressants”, Evans and Sullivan state, “Rates of prescription drug abuse have reached epidemic proportions. Large-scale epidemiologic surveys of this under-recognized clinical problem have not included antidepressants despite their contribution to morbidity and mortality.” So these prescription drugs are being abused more and more as time goes on, but clearly a prescription is not standing in the way of getting access to these drugs. A prescription is supposedly put in place to ensure that the medications are not being used just for recreational or nonmedical purposes. In the article titled “Abuse and misuse of Antidepressants”, Evans and Sullivan also write, “The reasons for nonmedical use of prescription drugs are complex. However, increased availability of prescription drugs has likely contributed. In the NSDUH, past-year users of psychotherapeutic drugs are asked how they obtained the drugs they most recently used nonmedically. More than half of the nonmedical users of pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives aged 12 years or older obtained the prescription drugs used ‘from a friend or relative for free’. About four in five of these nonmedical users indicated that their friend or relative had obtained the drugs from a single doctor.” Based off of these numbers a majority of people don’t let a prescription stand in the way of getting drug access. So really, what is the purpose of a prescription. Drug users and addicts will find a way to get their hands on the drugs that are meant to treat people. The only thing the prescription does is make it even more difficult for those who suffer from mental illness to get access. It prolongs the process and puts more stress and pain on those individuals who really need it. Just because others make the decision to misuse prescription drugs and potentially ruin their lives, should not affect those who are seeking it purely for medicinal purposes. These medications are meant to improve the quality of life and provide treatment, not to fulfill the dangerous and unhealthy habits that they are used for way too often.
Just as all human beings have basic rights, all human beings should have the right to healthcare. Many may believe that there is no way to justify this as a basic human right. In the article “Healthcare is not a Human Right”, Barlow writes, “Firstly, health care is difficult to define. It clearly encompasses preventive care public health measures, health promotion, and medical and surgical treatment of established illness. Is the so called human right to health care a right to basic provision of clean water and adequate food, or does everyone in the world have a right to organ transplantation, cosmetic surgery, infertility treatment, and the most expensive medicine? Secondly, all rights possessed by an individual imply a duty on the part of others. Thus the right to a fair trial imposes a duty on the prosecuting authority to be fair. On whom does the duty to provide health care to all the world’s citizens fall? Is it a duty on individual doctors, or hospital authorities, or governments, or only rich governments? Thirdly, the philosophical basis of all human rights has always been shaky. Most people can see some advantage in maintaining the concept of civil and political rights, but it is difficult to find any rational or utilitarian basis for viewing health care in the same way.” This can easily be fixed by simply organizing a system and putting rules in place. The government can just decide on who has the responsibility of providing coverage to individuals. Because it is not beneficial to the government, there is no need for them to put any kind of system in place. When will insurance companies actually insure their users. These large companies and government are just looking for a way that they can make the most money. Money should not be what is standing in the way of proper treatment. It is unacceptable that health coverage is not a given right or to assume that people must pay an absurd amount of money for something that they do not have any control over.
Health care is not something that is free to provide, so the money has to come from somewhere. Many would most likely say it is unjust to charge people for the costs of healthcare of others, but what about through tax dollars. Our tax money goes to schools, many citizens who pay towards this do not even use the school system, so why can’t it be the same thing for healthcare? In the article “Four Reasons to Tax the Rich for Universal Healthcare”, Faith In Healthcare writes, “ It will eliminate our current healthcare system’s regressive “tax” on workers. Every other economically advanced country pays for virtually all of their healthcare through taxes, which can and should be calibrated to increase the obligation of those who are blessed with great wealth. But, in the U.S., most workers have health insurance through their employment. That means they pay for it themselves through premiums, deductibles, and copayments—and foregone wages when their employers pay part of the healthcare cost instead of providing higher pay.” It is unfair for someone who is poor to have to pay for a large bill completely on their own. Taxes should go towards something that is ultimately beneficial towards everyone because everyone will get that coverage for their needs.
Evans, Elizabeth, and Maria Sullivan. Abuse and Misuse of Antidepressants, 14 Aug. 2014,
Barlow, P. “Health Care Is Not a Human Right.” BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), British Medical Journal, 31 July 1999, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1126951/.
“Four Reasons to Tax the Rich for Universal Healthcare.” FHC – Faith in Healthcare, 5 Nov. 2019, faithinhealthcare.org/fhc/four-reasons-tax-rich-universal-healthcare.