Right to Life vs Cost of Covid-19 Treatment

“Every man has a right to life, and this means that he has also a right to make a comfortable living”

In order to enjoy any other right offered by the constitution, a person must have the ‘right to life’. One must always keep in mind that “savings are for life and not life for savings”. Human beings earn to fulfill the ideal of right to life. A good or healthy life can be lived only with the presence of certain people in the forefront of society ranging from Soldiers, Doctors, teachers etc. Although every profession in the world has equal importance the role of the medical staffs plays a vital role in smooth functioning of society. It is based on their dedication towards the profession; the life in society flourish and vanish.

THE COST OF COVID-19 TREATMENT

The hospitals are commercially exploiting the patients and making a “fortune out of their miseries in the hour of national crisis”. People visit hospitals “to extent their health span and not to extend the wealth span of the medical authorities”. The government must keep in mind that not everyone has insurance and other facilities to acquire good health. Society comprises of rich and poor where the rich afford standardized medication facilities whereas the poor turn into the forefront of hospitals only when the self-remedies turn out to be a failure because they can’t afford the costs of treatment in hospitals whether public or private. There are cases where people sold everything to get a covid-19 patient cured but ended up being part of the death rituals of the same person which shows that even the costly treatment cannot bring certain people back to life. Then what is the use of charging high cost and firing people amidst their hard times when they approach the last means of survival and that fails too.

LIFE COSTS MORE THAN TREATMENT

Rajesh 42 years old came down with cold and fever for which he blamed the cold drink that he had consumed. His condition deteriorated rapidly as he started experiencing breathing difficulties. Usually the poor depend on home care but here the case was different as Rajesh had a history of diabetes and kidney ailments. Since they weren’t sure about the quality of care provided at government hospitals, they went to a private facility. Rajesh tested positive for Covid and was admitted in ICU. The family had to sell out Rs 4 lakh at the very beginning, of which just Rs 2 lakh was covered by insurance. In a matter of five days, Rajesh looked better and his health was improving. The family was relieved but, the relief didn’t last long.

After the initial progress, his health started to deteriorate, Rajesh was put on a ventilator. Meanwhile on the other side financial pressure began to grow like a towering dark shadow. His wife was asked to pay Rs 10 lakh. Rajesh’s business had been hit badly due to lockdown and the family had very few means to afford that money. Rajesh’s wife pledged her jewels. It still wasn’t enough because by that time the bill crossed Rs 16 lakh. As they had no other option they managed to sell their house. Meanwhile they approached a family friend for help, who pointed out that the hospital was overcharging, way beyond the government stipulated norms. The family then began negotiating with the hospital management. Even as they were requested to reduce the cost of treatment, the hospital management gave no notice and kept increasing the cost day by day. One of their family friends intervened and threatened to initiate official action against the hospital for overcharging. Simultaneously, the medical team treating Rajesh kept lowering chances of survival from 50 per cent to 20 per cent.

By then they had paid Rs 8 lakh of which Rs 6 lakh came from their pocket and balance from insurance. It was at this juncture that the hospital told the family that Rajesh had suffered multiple organ failure and that they had to initiate dialysis. The next day Rajesh passed away. The wife of Rajesh struggle hard to make both ends meet, the condition turned worse with the loss of the sole breadwinner of the family. The extra amount that remained after Rajesh’s death was not returned back to the family by the authorities as well. On the untimely demise of Rajesh there was a flow of consoling members from the governmental organization as well as other family members which is a usual scene in mourning houses. Later on there are no one to console or show sympathy. This is just one incident that came into limelight where the hospital authorities seemed to lack humanity, amidst the thousand cases that were buried or burnt along with the corpse.

In India, Tamil Nadu is one among the few states that have a well-equipped public healthcare system. This policy should be adopted throughout the country for better treatment of people.

REDUCE THE COST OF COVID-19 TREATMENT

Looking into the present scenario existing in the world it is important to take this vague issue into consideration. The cost of treatment for Covid-19 should be reduced. A country can flourish only with its population. The welfare of people lies in the hands of the government, this is where the concept of law, bureaucracy etc. pops up. Nowadays although people are able to defeat covid-19 they aren’t able to defeat the bill produced during the period of treatment.

The government should put up meetings or conferences with the authorities and find solutions for cracking the mess. Free treatment should be given to those who cannot afford to pay. Everyone should be treated equally because all are humans like you and me struggling for life. Proper medication and required facilities should be ensured by the government to all the hospitals beforehand, instead of looking into economic development of the country and wasting income on it. The cost of the treatment can be made affordable, nothing in this world cost more than the cost of a person’s life. The Supreme Court should intervene into this issue and frame systematic solution to bring changes in the society.

MEANING OF RIGHT TO LIFE

Article 21 of the Indian Constitution grants every individual the right to life. It is the belief that every citizen has the right to live and his or her life cannot be destroyed by any entities including the government. Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. Without this right, other rights seem lifeless and useless. The first right a person unknowingly enjoys even by birth is the “right to life”. There are ways to protect this right; speak up, volunteer, choose fairly, make wise decisions, stand up against discrimination etc. are some of the key concepts to enjoy the right to life. “One cannot have a right to life without the right to defend it with deadly force”. This right should be given to all from birth and cannot be denied till death.

DENIAL OF RIGHT TO LIFE

When the constitution guarantees people the right to life and it is clearly mentioned in the same that no one has the right to end the life of an individual, how can the society do such unlawful practices?  How can a person be denied the right to live when it is sanctioned to him by law? When thousands are dying not getting treatment due to lack of facilities in hospitals, how can the medical authorities perform methods like euthanasia (painless killing of a person) euthanasia is of two types active euthanasia and passive euthanasia. Active Euthanasia is when death is bought in by an act whereas passive euthanasia is when death is brought about by an omission i.e. when someone lets the patient die. According to the news reports and the scenes that are being shown in medias and interacting with people, I think what is happening in this pandemic scenario is the large-scale usage of ‘active euthanasia’. There are live telecasts that showcase the sufferings of people which give others an impression of not watching television as well. All we can hear and see is only the news of death and killing. In this scenario when everyone should join hands and treat everyone equally irrespective of position, status, social background or power, it is a great cruelty that is displayed in the lives of people. This in turn is a blot on the constitution.

CONCLUSION

“Cost of treatment should be less than the cost of life”

The society should never stay silent to the evils that it is bearing. Everyone in this world are equal and should be treated equally in all terms. Society and each individual should adhere to the norms prescribed in order to live a peaceful life. Similarly, Patients should be given proper prescription for leading a curable and healthy life. After all one must keep in mind that

“LIFE IS ALL ABOUT GOOD HEALTH AND NOT GOOD WEALTH”


Author: Unitta Anna Shaji from Kristujayanti College, Banglore.


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