This is a big topic and I really hope people arent going to turn it into a pop-libertarianism drone.
The national health service in the UK ensures through a system of public/national insurance, collected like income taxes, that everyone has a free service at the point of delivery.
It has historically meant that hospitals, GP clinics and health services are owned by the state, funded by taxation and that the NHS is one of the biggest employers in the UK (the biggest in NI were I live).
This week Cameron's conservatives have announced that they plan to permit patients in dire need to "fast track" themselves into programmes where they will received "experimental treatments" and that the confidential information of patients will be shared with pharma-corp giants for research purposes.
This whole thing has been spun that with these special treats the government is really spoiling us, like those choclates in the embassy advert. Although I'm not so sure.
Using the public as resources to be exploited by powerful, international private interests seems wrong to me and to involve all sorts of perverse incentives.
For instance what if genome patterns are discovered making entire populations of people "bad bets" for insurance? Doesnt matter in the UK unless privatisation, especially of insurance, really takes off but it matters elsewhere.
With the UK considering a mandatory organ donation programme, which people opt out of rather than opt into, it leaves open all sorts of macabre organ sales like those written about in http://www.amazon.co.uk/Body-Shoppin...3166826&sr=8-1 which I posted about in another thread.
Is this all inevitable? Are the benefits greater than the risks or costs? Is it just inevitable that commerce, including the dark side of commerce, is going to enter into all things including health?