Many times we live without thinking about what it means. The vast majority lives a repetitive set of days, 5 working days and 2 days to rest from the working days. And, if everything goes well, at the end of the month your are not lacking of bread, housing, clothes or health. Given that over 7 billion people behave more or less in this way (or slightly less, considering the plight of those who must live another kind of life for being born or left outside of this repetitive mechanism), it is inevitable to think that the world runs on autopilot mode, product of a system.

What Is A System?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word has two meanings:

  1. An organized or connected group of objects.

  2. A set of principles, etc.; a scheme, method.

In other words, to organize the productive world where we live in, a group of norms and relations are needed so that anything gets out of control, so that everybody can eat, sleep well, get dressed and have good health.

In the system in which we are all immersed, few question if these norms and relations are well defined. Because they were not created by somebody,  but they are the product of the human evolution; they are children of the history of our society. But this doesn’t mean they have been ideal.

Of all these aspects, I would like to share with you a brief reflection on the healthcare system. I don’t know how it works in every country (and I encourage you to comment about it) but I do have an idea of what happens in most capitalists countries. Usually, in these healthcare systems, doctors receive an amount of money to save lives, relieve pain, improve symptoms, etc… It could be summed up in “improving the quality of life” of the other person (at least at a physical-emotional level).In return, the patients pay for this service. So far, everything seems logical.

But, what happens when somebody’s life depends on a medical procedure whose cost exceeds by far what thissistsalud person can afford? Out of the reach of a health insurance (or any similar mechanism), the patient must, by his own means, finance something that the physician knows and can perform; but -for some reason- has a high associated cost. This cost may be the sum of: the specialist fee, the necessary medication, the amortization of the equipment required, the “rare” supplies required… If the patient can’t afford it, will it be left to die? And if by trying to pay he loses everything he has, or faces debts till the end of his days?

When is the value of life considered? The system we live on is capable of letting somebody die just because it doesn’t have money, without caring if the advancement of science can save his life. There are some things that are understandable, such as the doctor’s work deserves to be rewarded. But, how far can the system’s greed -or the greed of the human beings promoting this system- go to transform the absence of values into the absence of life?

I think about this many times, and each time I do it makes me sad. Very sad. To see that the world has become a place in which a few decide who lives and who doesn’t just based on a matter of money, makes me sad. We should teach more values and less finance; maybe it is the only way to start changing something that has been deep inside all of us for a long time: something we don’t choose, but we live with. If any reader wants to share his point of view,his story, his local experience, it will surely help this human being who, sometimes, is not human at all.