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[Healthcare services citizen's right and healthcare systems safeguard. Considerations rising from the Charlie Gard story.]

Research paper by Giuseppe R GR Gristina

Indexed on: 14 Sep '17Published on: 14 Sep '17Published in: Recenti progressi in medicina



Abstract

The story of Charlie Gard, an 11-month-old boy suffering from a rare inherited mitochondrial disease called 'infantile encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome' and kept alive thanks to life supports, rises some issues regarding the provision of healthcare. Is there a right of an individual person to buy any healthcare benefits only because he has enough money to do so? If the answer is 'yes', in light of the distributive justice principle how do governments balance this right with the obligation to regulate health care systems ensuring that all treatments are useful and affordable for everybody? Many considerations of the best interest of patients can be found in this debate, but we cannot ignore neither the value of the scientific method as the cornerstone of the medical profession nor a commitment to support the moral integrity of clinical practice by refusing to provide treatments that do not meet a reasonable threshold of scientific justification evidence-based.