I am sick and tired of people saying “nobody dies from lack of health insurance.” I have been hearing this for years from all sorts of people who should know better.
“but even if you have no insurance and no money, doctors HAVE to treat you.”
No they don’t. Some hospitals have that policy and some don’t.
Even emergency rooms will only treat things that are about to kill you right now. They will not treat long-term conditions that are killing you slowly. By the time those conditions are far enough along to be an immediate emergency, it will be too late for the emergency room to do anything about them anyway.
“but… the Hippocratic Oath!”
Doctors are not actually required to take the Hippocratic Oath. The original Hippocratic Oath actually contains a lot of stuff that makes no sense in the present day… like promising never to do surgery, not even for a gallstone… and like having to swear by a bunch of ancient Greek gods, which would violate the religious freedom of, like, any doctor who doesn’t worship ancient Greek gods…
Many med schools do have their students swear an oath when they graduate, which may be an altered version of the Hippocratic Oath, but it’s mostly ceremonial and it’s not like anything can happen to you for breaking it, per se.
I mean, yeah, the oath does include promising to do some stuff that is also required by law, and yes you can be punished for breaking the law, but not because it’s in the oath.
And also, even the Hippocratic Oath doesn’t say “first do no harm, and also do not allow harm through inaction.” I think you’re mixing up the first line of the Hippocratic Oath with the first law of Asimovean robotics.
And guess what. Even when a doctor does treat you– they usually do it by prescribing medicine.
And you get the medicine by going to a pharmacy.
And the pharmacy will not give you the medicine without payment– not even if you have a prescription that says you’ll die without it.
I know. I work in a freaking pharmacy. And so does at least one of the people I have heard spouting that “people never die from lack of insurance” bullcrap.
Like I said– people who should know better. This is inexcusable.