Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Latest Posts

Implications of A Civil Right To Healthcare

In his previous post, DrRich used a combination of history, logic, and sleight of hand to convince even his most conservative readers that healthcare is indeed a right.

To summarize that erudite posting: The BOSS rule says it’s a right, so it’s a right – as long as we’re talking about a civil (or legal) right, and not about a natural (or inalienable) right.

A civil right is granted, more or less arbitrarily, by a government or a society, to some group of individuals, usually to redress a past grievance, or to attempt to achieve equality in outcomes, or for some other form of social justice. Civil rights almost invariably require a second group of individuals to sacrifice something of their own in order to satisfy the civil rights granted to the first group. So the granting of civil rights (as opposed to natural rights) will often be seen by at least some as being inherently oppressive, but if used appropriately civil rights can be very good for the furtherance of a stable and civil society. (As DrRich has pointed out, even our Founders – the great purveyors of natural rights – explicitly understood the importance of well-designed civil rights.) Civil rights, at least ideally, advance the virtue of justice, just as their creators claim. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Covert Rationing Blog*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »