Human beings spend their lives feeling safe with the presence and continuous advancement of the medical field. Healthcare establishments exist in every area of every nation with the sole purpose of helping patients and individuals have better lives by providing them with an adequate diagnosis and treatment plan. What happens when the area is divided into several social classes? Is the definition of medicine and healthcare still applicable?
Unfortunately, nowadays, several healthcare establishments are holding the power of refusing a patient if: 1) he does not have health insurance and/or 2) he does not have enough money to cover the treatment.
Is it fair? Is it ethical?
In regular days, a private healthcare establishment might need to only admit patients with insurance or money in order to cover its financial costs and expenses. There are several governmental healthcare establishments who can treat and follow up a patient at a very minimal cost or even at no cost. This situation can be acceptable and fair.
However, in case of emergency, a healthcare establishment should not refuse to treat a patient depending on his social class. It is unethical for a medical institution to decline an emergency case because the patient is poor. In case there were several emergency patients at once and not enough staff and beds to treat them all, rich people should not be picked over poor ones. In a highly ethical world, which is the world of medicine, the institution should pick patients based on two factors: 1) age and 2) chances of survival (when there are not enough beds for everyone). So, in other terms, a younger person who also has a higher chance of benefiting from the treatment should be admitted first and a person whose body is highly damaged with very little chance of survival should come next. This pick should be done regardless of the patient’s social status. This method is applied in several hospitals in the USA and has been proven to be relatively fair. Please keep in mind that the best situation would be to be able to treat equally all patients regardless of any age, gender, social class, education or gravity of injury. Let’s hope that no mass emergency will be witnessed any time soon in our country.