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Opinion >  Letters

Follow ethical path

The Spokesman-Review

It may be a novel approach to consider the health care dilemma from an ethical perspective, but it’s worth a try.

In his prescient, provocative “Man for Himself – an inquiry into the psychology of ethics,” psychoanalyst Eric Fromm suggests we are guided by either authoritarian or humanist ethics. Authoritarian ethics are facilitated by a dominant figure or force that persuades one to make a judgment determined by that force, often against the best interests of the one making that judgment. Humanist ethics requires one to think for oneself, after exposure to a wide array of ideas, in terms of what’s best for mankind.

Those led by authoritarian ethics, described by educator Robert Hutchins as having the “trained incapacity to think independently” – vulnerable to demagogic politicians, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News personalities – appear indifferent to the 46 million uninsured Americans, and unmoved by insurance-related health care rationing and bankruptcies.

Those guided by humanist ethics want what’s best for all Americans – a single-payer Medicare-for-all health care plan, that is wellness, rather than sickness oriented.

If health care in America is, indeed, an ethical issue, which path shall we choose?

Buell Hollister



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