Welfare vs. Liberty
Moral rights are defined as the right to perform certain activities that: conform to the accepted standards or ideas of a community (or of law, god, and conscience); will not harm, coerce, restrain, or infringe on the interest of others; and are good rational arguments in support of the value of such activities (Masters, 2014). Individuals sometimes mistakenly claim things as rights that are really privileges, concessions, or freedoms (Catalano, 2012). In a just society, there are many instances where moral and legal rights overlap because of the policies that are legislated into laws to enforce certain rights (Butts & Rich, 2008). Most experts agree that all healthcare ...view middle of the document...
They also have the right to choose any available participating primary care provider. Another example of welfare rights involves people who are 65 and older. Eligible elders have the right to a range of preventive services with no cost-sharing (Lachman, 2012).
In contrast to welfare rights, liberty or negative rights involve the right to noninterference from any person or government entity when pursuing one’s legitimate interests (Masters, 2014). Liberty rights include the first 10 amendments in the U.S. Constitution; privacy; autonomy; freedom of speech; and freedom from harassment, confinement, unwanted medical treatment, or participation in experiments without informed consent (Butts & Rich, 2008). In the United States, liberty rights are emphasized over welfare rights except in the cases of the poor and elderly (Masters, 2014). An example of a liberty right is the need of a patient’s informed consent before their surgery. Even though the actual responsibility for ensuring informed consent belongs to the doctor, the nurse has a role in terms of patient advocacy with facilitating the consent; this has become more of a direct ethical issue for nurses (Masters, 2014). A liberally applied concept of informed consent includes the rule that meaningful information must be disclosed even if the clinician does not believe that the information will be beneficial. This definition is in contrast to the rule applied in the Hippocratic Oath that allows for healthcare professionals to withhold information that they believe would harm or upset the patient (Masters, 2014).
A right is seen as an entitlement which is justified on moral and/or legal grounds,...