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1992 Reaffirmation of Resolution on Securing Access to Adequate Health Care

Presented by the Commission on Christian Action, adopted by the delegates to the 107th Covenant Annual Meeting.

“The Commission on Christian Action, with the concurrence of the Covenant Executive Board, recommends that the 107th Covenant Annual Meeting reaffirm the following resolution on ‘Securing Access to Adequate Health Care’ (passed at the 1984 Annual Meeting). Further, it commends the Department of Christian Education and Discipleship, the Covenant Resource Center, and Covenant Benevolent Institutions, Inc. for the implementation of the assignment given in the 1984 resolution, resulting in the publication of the manual, ‘Health Care and Caring: Aids for Study Groups.’ The commission encourages the wide use of these materials in the churches as one resource for personal and communal approaches for making health-care decisions.”

WHEREAS, the Ministry of the Christian Church includes healing and health care and from its inception the Evangelical Covenant Church has sought to provide this ministry as a primary objective; and

WHEREAS, increasingly complex and ethically difficult decisions are being made daily which effect access to health care; and

WHEREAS, inequities still exist in the financial protection people have against the cost of medical care, the availability of health professionals and facilities, the use of services, and the quality of care received; and

WHEREAS, the above inequities are related to income, place of residence, race, ethnicity, and third-party payment; and

WHEREAS, the development of an ethical framework expressing the consensus of society for making health-care decisions will help assure fair and adequate public policies guiding such decisions; be it therefore

RESOLVED, that the Ninety-ninth Covenant Annual Meeting indicates support of the following six ethical principles as set forth in the Report of the President’s Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research, published in March, 1983.

1) Society has an ethical obligation to insure equitable access to health care for all.

2) The societal obligation is balanced by individual obligations.

3) Equitable access to health care requires that all citizens be able to secure an adequate level of care without excessive burdens.

4) When equity occurs through the operation of private forces, there is no need for governmental involvement, but the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that society’s obligation is met, through a combination of public and private sector arrangements, rests with the federal government.

5) The cost of achieving equitable access to health care ought to be shared fairly.

6) Efforts to contain rising health-care costs are important but should not focus on limiting the attainment of equitable access for the least well served section of the public;

and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Covenant Board of Benevolence and all those who work in health-care settings and enterprises be encouraged…to continue to implement these principles in their ministries.

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