Access to Health Care: Charity and Rights

  • George J. Agich
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 38)


There are many problems associated with access to health care in the United States. Some of these problems are conceptual and definitional. The empirical literature on access, for example, lacks agreement even regarding the nature of the problem. It is not settled whether inequity of access is to be measured by utilization rates, by “process” variables such as travel or waiting time, or by market considerations [1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 13, 15, 18]. Paul Starr has shown that the problem of inequity of access has large-scale historical and sociological features which imply that historically there are several different problems of access to health care.1 Despite these problems, discussion of health care access in recent years, especially in political contexts, has tended to be expressed in terms of the language of rights.


Health Care Moral Obligation Basic Minimum Unemployment Compensation Psychological Motivation 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • George J. Agich
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical HumanitiesSouthern Illinois UniversitySpringfieldUSA

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