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Was Trump justified to try to buy the rights to a COVID-19 vaccine?
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Exclusivity would break the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The historic legal document to which all UN member states are bound, commits signatories to uphold and protect the right to life. Limiting access to the cure to a tiny minority would be a flagrant overruling of this law.
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The Argument

As stated in Article 25 by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to a standard of living that will not prove detrimental to their own health and well being. Such a statement includes rights to food, clothing, housing, social services, security, and most importantly for the case of this argument, health care. [1] Thus, it is clear that since the inclusive right to health care is a fundamental component of basic human rights and subsequently important in living life with dignity, the increasing exclusivity of medicines and vaccines breach such an idea.[2] In other words, limiting access to a cure would, in fact, violate Article 25 as every individual has a right to not become sick or die simply because they are poor or have no access to proper health services. [3]

Counter arguments

Pharmaceutical companies are businesses that need to make money in order to stay open and continue their research. Thus, they need to charge money for the drugs they produce. Sadly, some individuals may not be able to afford these drugs, and although that is an unfortunate reality, it does not mean that citizens have a right to these medications. First, according to the logic of rights, every right is held against someone. That is to say, if there were a right to health care, then, as a moral matter, either a taxpayer would have a duty to give money to someone needing healthcare or a physician would have a duty to give his or her services. There is no such duty, and therefore there is no such right; and because access to healthcare is not a right but a privilege, it cannot break the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. [4]


Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Sunday, 28 Jun 2020 at 02:13 UTC