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Christina Nesheva

GlaxoSmithKline plc

TEDCRED 50+

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What is the future of healthcare? How can it become health care vs sickness treatment? What role do technology and innovation play?

Healthcare costs are rising, the population is aging and medical needs are greater than ever. How can patients receive better quality care at an affordable price? How can we leverage technology to provide better and more affordable healthcare around the world?

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  • Oct 20 2011: In this debate, may I ask everyone to step back and ask the following question.

    Should health be a person's right in a modern society?

    If yes, then government has the responsibility to provide health care.

    If no, then it is up to individual to maintain health, and if bad luck strikes, we will just fold our hands and see how this person can cope.

    In our modern society (especially in developed countries), what is health care?
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      Oct 20 2011: no, health is not a right. neither healthcare is a right.

      no, even if something is a right, it does not mean that the government should provide it.

      no, if government does not provide healthcare, we still can finance it through private health insurance. we can have charity organizations. we can have crowd financing. there are infinite number of solutions.

      i don't understand the last question.
      • Oct 20 2011: Krisztián,

        I am sorry I did not make the contrast clear enough.

        Let say free speech. Is that a right or not? Many western countries have free speech as a right (USA constitution makes it a right), but this is not universal.

        Education - is that a right or not? Should every child get an education? Again, some countries provide education and to different levels. Some see education as a private matter to be determined by parents.

        I can see argument on both sides whether health should or should not be seen as a right for citizens of a particular countries. Of course, if health is not a right, that does not imply there are no other means of providing health care - as you have adequately made clear.

        If the social good of a healthy citizenship outweighs the burden on the government, then making health as a right makes sense. The eradication of small pots is a good example of collective action. Government is for collective actions which individual or corporations cannot or unwilling to do. If the social good of healthy citizenship is important (just as free speech is important for a democracy), why not makes it a citizen right?

        Of course the flip side of the argument is to ask if government is the best agent to provide health or should health be provided by free market. Which is economically more efficient?

        I guess the answer depends on one's the political view. As the population in developed countries are getting old and we generally have a smaller number of children, the burden of health care in the next 10 to 30 years is a big issue especially if the population is not healthy.
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          Oct 20 2011: free speech is a right, but it is tricky. the actual right is "not to be kept from saying whatever you want". speaking is an action, and nobody should be able to prevent you from doing that. neither by physical means nor by threats or fraud. this law does not imply anyone has to provide you the means of communicating your thoughts. it is your job to find the tools or forums you need.

          education is not an action of the subject. education is not a right. learning is an action, and thus learning is a right. nobody should be able to prevent you from learning. teaching is a right. nobody should be able to prevent you from teaching something. it is also a right not to learn. not learning is an action. forcing people into learning something is unethical.

          health is not an action, but a condition. healing is an action, but not an action of the subject. thus neither of them is a right. pursuing health is an action, and it is a right. nobody should be prevented from pursuing health. thus, the FDA for example is unethical.

          having food is not a right. it is not an action. being able to pursue food is an action, and is a right. producing and selling food is an action, and is a right. buying food, provided that there is a seller, is a right. thus tariffs, quotas and regulations are unethical.
      • Oct 20 2011: Thanks for the clarification. I have not thought about that.

        Thanks again.
        • Oct 21 2011: kicking is action so is a right... humm!?
      • Oct 20 2011: Krisztián,

        After thinking a little about this. I cannot agree with you.

        "speech" is noun - "free speech" is a qualified noun. A special kind of natural ability of human.

        "health" is a noun, but also a qualified noun (a well being living ). A special kind of living, again a natural ability of human.

        If "free speech" can be a right, there is no reason why "well being" is not a right. Just like we have the right to live in a safe environment. If there is thief, e.g., police (a government agent) has the responsibility to make right for us. Health is the right to live healthy. To live healthy is an action and it is a right.
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          Oct 20 2011: speaking is an action. one can decide whether speak or not, and what to speak.

          health is not an action, and being healthy is also not an action. it is not your decision whether you are healthy or not, and what illnesses you have.

          safe environment is also not a right. having a safe environment is not an action. you cannot decide if you want to be safe or not, and if not, how.
      • Oct 20 2011: I am still not convinced. But will leave this. Thanks anyway.
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      Oct 20 2011: Totally for profit grain based chemical agriculture and our bloated pharmaceutical health care paradigm are the problem. These have become core beliefs and created a population of media zombies blinded by fake science.

      A solution will never appear through the same illogic that brought us to this point of sickness, bankruptcy and delusion. Personal empowerment, real nutrition and an understanding of simple remedies will not be found in this ocean of ignorance.

      Embellishing a system built on a crooked foundation and faulty thinking will only deliver more of the same.

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