Health Ethics and Law in Canada – Health System Example

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"Health Ethics and Law in Canada"  is an outstanding example of a paper on the health system. In Canada, the problem of healthcare accessibility has been a controversial topic for a couple of years and as a result, the issue has fueled a debate over the uses of private service delivery in the health care system. The terms “ private” and “ public” are often used descriptors in healthcare system delivery. In general, what is public refers to government involvement while private refers to the involvement of charitable organizations, individuals or business purposes. After the second world war, the country introduced a number of measures in building the healthcare system in an effort to meeting the public demands and needs (CIHI, 2007).

As a result, the healthcare system became accessible, and the health care spending accounted for a large portion of health financing. The hospital infrastructure therefore improved, the publicly funded healthcare services grew and, as a result, healthcare delivery significantly improved. However, the trend changed after the oil crisis in 1970 and the recession that took place in 1980 as well as the desire of the government to balance its budget in response to the rising healthcare cost (Hutchison, 2008). Thus, the government introduced changes to contain healthcare costs as well as enabling the healthcare costs to be spent more efficiently.

This included reduced public health care coverage, decreasing the publicly funded health care services and increasing the out of pocket payments for health care. Now, the accessibility and sustainability of the publicly funded healthcare system have been intertwined with a broader issue of what services ought to been deemed as ‘ medically necessary’ and therefore be subjects of public coverage as well as one who should be entitled to them and how the services should be paid for (Zelmer & Lewis, 2003).

From the utilitarian perspective, it focuses on the actions that bring a greater sense of well-being over the harmful effects.   According to the perspective, an ethical act is that which brings pleasure and happiness to the greater majority. Basing on this perspective, then the Canadian government needs to increase public health coverage rather than reducing it and increasing the publicly funded health care services.

This will provide a greater benefit to the large community (Fisher, 2013). However, from a deontological perspective, it states that individuals and organizations have an obligation of acting in accordance with certain rules and principles according to the situation regardless of the outcomes. The Canadian government acted according to this perspective in an effort of reducing the associated healthcare cost after the crisis occurrence to balance the Government expenditure. In creating a greater balance in healthcare delivery as well as bridging the gap, the private sector needs to be involved in increased healthcare delivery and work in conjunction with the public sector to enhance quality care delivery.

The private sector should also be involved in providing affordable care to the public and help in financing health care delivery in an effort of ensuring that appropriate care is accessible to all the people and reduce the government burden of financing the sector. The government needs to exercise a considerable amount of authority over private-sector health care delivery to enhance a balance of the care delivered to ensure that the services offered are affordable and not overpriced (Katz, 2008).


CIHI. (2007). Healthcare in Canada 2007. CIHI Report, 67.

Fisher, J. (2013). Biomedical ethics: A Canadian focus. Don Mills, Ont: OUP Canada.

Hutchison, B. (2008). A long time coming: primary healthcare renewal in Canada. HealthcarePapers, 8, 10–24.

Katz, A. (2008). Primary healthcare renewal in Canada: not there yet. HealthcarePapers.

Zelmer, J., & Lewis, S. (2003). Looking back, looking ahead: primary healthcare renewal in Canada. Hospital Quarterly, 6, 39–41, 43, 2.

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