Our Right to Health
Guest Post by Dick Warn
Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease. Bob Richards, American pole-vaulting champion, said, “The people who will accomplish great things in life are those who are willing to discipline their lives, who maintain their health, their vitality, their efficiency through a process of rigorously disciplining what they take into their bodies and what they do in life.”
Yesterday I read of an angry mob of people demanding their right to health care. That brought to mind the time I walked a very sick and shaky heroin addict into the emergency room of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Pasco, Washington. That man desperately needed medical assistance to come down from the extended high he had been on.
After they ran several tests and many questions were answered, the admitting physician sat down in front of the addict, looked him directly in his eyes, and said, “Let me see if I have this right. You chose to get high on heroin 15 years ago. You knew it was wrong, yet continued using until you could no longer stop. You supported your deadly habit by stealing from others, breaking into homes, and driving insurance costs up. Right now you are asking the very people you have screwed over for 15 years to help you out. Now, tell me why we should?”
I don’t recall his exact words, but I do remember that he was brutally honest with the physician, as he had been with me. In his closing remarks he restated a commitment he had made to me earlier. The addict said, “Once I get clean, I will never touch either alcohol or drugs again. These are both killers, and I want to live.”
The physician sat in silence for several minutes, then left the room. After a long painful pause a nurse arrived and began to admit him. I didn’t see him again until two years later when he came to see me. He was clean, sober and smiling when he thanked me. I thanked him for keeping his word and doing what he needed to do.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, British philosopher, said, “There are no rights whatever without corresponding duties.”
Health is not a right. Health is an opportunity.
Dick Warn is the author of The Miracle Minute, a weekly email sent free to readers around the world. www.TheMiracleMinute.com His latest book, Mystical Mentor can be previewed at www.MysticalMentor.com