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Health Care in the Early 1960s - 21st Century

Read Stevens, Rosemary A. Health Care in the Early 1960s. Health Care Financing Review/ Winter 1996/Volume 18, Number 2, linked below: http://www.ssa.gov/history/pdf/HealthCareEarly1960s.pdf

After reviewing the video clips and reading about healthcare in the 1960s, what do you think about the idea that technological and medical advances would bring an end to hunger, disease, drudgery, and unemployment in the United States? How has technology helped in these areas and where has it been less helpful? In what other domains has technology improved or challenged life in America in the 21st century?

(Video Information Written out) We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone.
Finally, in a field where the United States and the Soviet Union have a special capacity--in the field of space--there is room for new cooperation, for further joint efforts in the regulation and exploration of space. I include among these possibilities a joint expedition to the moon. Space offers no problems of sovereignty; by resolution of this Assembly, the members of the United Nations have foresworn any claim to territorial rights in outer space or on celestial bodies, and declared that international law and the United Nations Charter will apply. Why, therefore, should man's first flight to the moon be a matter of national competition? Why should the United States and the Soviet Union, in preparing for such expeditions, become involved in immense duplications of research, construction, and expenditure?

At Cape Canaveral, FL the army's Jupiter sea rocket is ready for America's 2nd attempt to launch a space satellite. No relation to the IRBM Jupiter, this is a rebuilt Redstone, a 200 mile missile, carrying instead of a warhead, 3 stages of solid fuel booster rockets and the Explorer, a 6 foot bullet, only inches across, crammed to the electronic gear.

This close up of the United States' edition was made at the press conference with leaders of the scientific teams: Dr Vernovan Drum, Dr. James Van Allen, and Dr. William Pickering, a three-way collaboration between private industry, academic science, and the military. The rocket is on its launching pad. The hour's long countdown approaches 0, a moment of enormous tension, for every missile launching is still in experiment. Any one of tens of thousands of things can go wrong with catastrophic results. But all that can be done with sure perfection has been done. The moment is at hand. The countdown reaches............zero.

Some three minutes later, Explorer is in orbit, broadcasting to the world, its coded scientific data. Cosmic intensity, meteor impact, solar radiation: these are the dry facts that will help carry a man into the age of space.

It is a time in which wonder grows weary at the common place of miracles. And in which hope strides forward in seven league boots hasten by knowledge that modern technology can bring an end to hunger, illiteracy, chronic ill-health, drudgery, unemployment and material want. Man has probed to the very heart of matter and turned it to energy.

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QUESTION AND RESPONSE:

1. Read Stevens, Rosemary A. Health Care in the Early 1960s. Health Care Financing Review/ Winter 1996/Volume 18, Number 2, linked below: http://www.ssa.gov/history/pdf/HealthCareEarly1960s.pdf After reviewing the video clips and reading about healthcare in the 1960s, what do you think about the idea that technological and medical advances would bring an end to hunger, disease, drudgery, and unemployment in the United States?

The article points out how in the past, healthcare was for the groups selected as being worthy of healthcare. And, it reports that the rift between doctor and patient was evident, and nineteenth century attitudes toward poverty lingered among the more affluent in general. For example, at least one-third of the population stated, when polled in 1963, that an individual was personally responsible for his or her own poverty (Schiltz, 1970, as cited in the attached article). It is important to consider how far are we removed from these attitudes today? And, what role do we see healthcare playing in the United States and elsewhere?

Many argue that it is important to differentiate between personal responsibility for one's health and health care's responsibility for one's health. The healthcare system cannot be held responsible for every plight we have, like losing a job, or falling into poverty or drudgery. However, regardless of the plight, poverty or drudgery someone finds her or himself, the person deserves health care--it is there right as an American citizen. The person should still expect equal access to the healthcare system for any medical problem that she or he has. On the other hand, one could NOT expect the medical profession to end all other life woes (unemployment, poverty, and the likes), because that is NOT health care's responsibility. Health care's goal is about healing the sick and attempting to cure diseases. It seems far-reaching--however, to extend its mission and goal beyond this, such as bringing an end to hunger, drudgery, and unemployment in the United States as ...

Solution Summary

Referring to the video clips and the article about healthcare in the 1960s (Stevens, 1996), this solution explores the idea that technological and medical advances would bring an end to hunger, disease, drudgery, and unemployment in the United States, as well as how technology has helped in these areas and where it has been less helpful. Finally, it discusses in what other domains technology has improved or challenged life in America in the 21st century.

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