Justice is defined as a fair and equal distribution of problems and benefits among members of a society (Macmillan Dictionary). Market justice grounds on individual interests, personal efforts and free choice of every person with a little role of government. On the contrary, social justice means that every person shares the burdens and benefits equally, and that leads to the common prosperity. What is more effective – individual pursuit for happiness or collective efforts? The health care system can serve as a mirror of the dominant justice.
There are certain processes that arise from the excessive competition in the medicine. First of all, health care system has become a commercial product (Budetti). Each pharmaceutical company and medical establishment is in constant pursuit of clients. Enterprises and hospitals are not seeking for better health care – they need to be the best in their sphere to get higher income. Then, it is the financial interest and personal ambitions that promote scientific and medical researches. There are numerous breakthroughs but no evident results. Although, there are many laboratories, the number of illnesses is not decreasing, but becomes higher. It is more honorary to research a rare disease than to find an efficient cure for a common illness. One more issue is medicalization. Every human condition is viewed as an illness or disorder that must be cured (Conrad and Leiter). It seems that without special treatment or pills even minor malaise cannot be cured. Advertisements promote constant need for special new medicines. Even if a person feels fine, it is vital to visit doctors frequently and take pills to prevent possible health problems. Finally, it is the patient who is responsible for health and treatment. An individual chooses what lifestyle to lead and how to cope with the consequences. It means that a person is left alone with the illness and risk of death.
On the other hand, social justice controls possible dangers through common actions that are equal for all to avoid illness and death. The main principle is to prevent possible hazards but not to place the fault on people who got into troubles. The focus is not on the personal responsibility but on measures that help to minimize risks. Thus, the next issue is measure of prevention. It should be a careful plan and rules that are common for all and controlled by the government. The control of risks cannot be left for a personal concern and voluntary behavior. It should be a well-planned system of collective actions, controlled by special agencies. The most important principle is not to leave people face to face with their health problems. Institutes of public health care should work for people and not at their expense. The society must provide its members with the sense of safety and confidence.
Therefore, US health care system should combine benefits of market and social justice. Competitiveness between pharmaceutical enterprises and hospitals should increase the quality of goods and services they propose. They should compete not for money but for better meet of common demands in health care. A person must be responsible for his or her actions but there should be a special system of preventing measures to follow. People, no matter rich or poor, should have equal rights for medical care. Human life is the highest value so each person deserves a dignified treatment.
To sum up, the level of society’s health is a vivid indicator of how efficient the prevailed justice is. It is known that the strength and success of a team is measured by its weakest member. A nation will be sound only if each person is healthy.