There are multifaceted ethical issues relating to international investments. One aspect relates to human rights. Most Latin American governments have constitutions that mandate health care as a human right, yet some of these countries provide poor health care for the majority of their population.
During the 1980s, the general populace of these countries deteriorated, even though several Latin American countries developed strategies to reposition medical personnel and services to rural areas. Throughout this time, many international donors provided assistance; however they did so with imposed conditions. An example of this constrained assistance was the World Bank, which imposed restrictions that included privatization of health care, as well as required limitations on universal access.
Did the World Bank and other international donors act responsibly and ethically in constraining their humanitarian assistance? Who has the responsibility for the health care of the Latin American people? Is it a reasonable and socially responsible practice to offer international assistance in exchange for an opportunity to shape a country’s political and/or social system? Why or why not?
The Word Bank and other international donors did not act ethically and responsibly in constraining their humanitarian assistance to the general population of Latin American countries. Human beings have the right to quality health care, which can only be obtained if it offered freely and at affordable prices. Privatization of healthcare and limiting access to universal care puts the lives of citizens of Latin American countries at risk because they raise cost of care. This is completely against utilitarianism ethics which states that an action is considered ethical only if it brings about happiness to the greatest number of people (West, 2004).
Governments of Latin American countries have the responsibility for the health care of their citizens. These governments should enact legislations and formulate policies that direct health care delivery, including provision of resources in their respective countries. For example, majority of Latin American governments have created laws that view health care as a fundamental human right. They must work very hard to ensure that these laws are effectively enforced. Suppose proper implementation of the constitution is done, other organizations or nations will not find an opportunity of underrating healthcare in Latin American countries by constraining their humanitarian assistance to the general population. It is an unreasonable and an irresponsible practice by the World Bank to offer international assistance in exchange for an opportunity to shape the political and social systems of Latin American countries. This is because, by doing so, the economies of the assisted countries as well as the health of their citizens are affected. It is therefore recommended that organizations that offer international assistance to other countries should comply with the laws of those nations (Trotochaud, 2006).
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