What do people mean when they talk about “That is a right!” You have to use an exclamation point when you say or print “Right!” One of the newest members of the Billionaires Club in the United States is a lady who is extremely smart, Elizabeth Holmes. Ms. Holmes is 30 years old and an inventor who developed a better way to test blood. Her company, Theranos, is worth $9 billion and she owns 50%. Ms. Holmes statement about her work, her company, and her success is, “what we are about is the belief that access to affordable and real-time health information is a basic human right, and it is a civil right.”
So, she is stating that health care is not just about drugs, doctors, treatments, or fancy machines, but that health information is also a part of that equation. The access to that health information is a “right” according to Ms. Holmes. She is passionate, and yet she is wrong.
A right is a gift from the Creator, if you read the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. The Declaration speaks of Natural Rights which emanate from Nature’s God. What is a right is few in number and very basic to humankind. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are the most basic rights mentioned in our founding documents and form the basis for the U.S. Constitution. Civil rights emanate from man’s attempt to govern, or control, segments of society, and again, are the most basic elements of what our founders called the civil society.
Self-government requires participation of the citizens. It took a long while, even in this country, for the definition of participation to be fully realized. Men and women, of all creeds, colors, and backgrounds, can be citizens and therefore participants in self-government. We elect people to represent us to protect our lives, our liberty, and our happiness. This is American Exceptionalism. Not that we are better than anyone else, but that these United States attempt to let its citizens determine what is best for the Union of States. History has been mostly about governments that are tyrants over their subjects. The United States of America is an attempt to give voice, as best as possible, to every citizen.
Religion, speech, a free press, assembly, and the right to complain to the government without reprisal, are enshrined in the First Amendment for a reason. They form the basis for our self-government to succeed. Health is not in that list. Health is not a right. It is a goal and sometimes just a hope. Health is just another part of life that we attempt to control, but it is not a right. Goals are not rights.
Ms. Holmes’ company and passion for helping people to improve their health is admirable. The politicians, movie stars, and athletes that the mainstream media love to quote, because they are important, does not make them experts. Ms. Holmes can say what she wants and we will listen, but she is not always right, especially about what is a right.
– G Dub Dub