Day 3 – Q 2. Is it ethical to restrict the treatment of COVID-19 only to the native local population in a state? Substantiate your views. 

  • IASbaba
  • June 12, 2020
  • 0
Ethics Theory, GS 4, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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2. Is it ethical to restrict the treatment of COVID-19 only to the native local population in a state? Substantiate your views. 

क्या COVID -19 के उपचार को एक राज्य में केवल मूल स्थानीय आबादी के लिए उपलब्ध कराना नैतिक है? अपने विचारों को सारगर्भित करें।

Demand of the question:

It expects students to write about whether the decision of Delhi government is ethical or not along with substantial argument. 


Recent Delhi government announcement that all Delhi government and private hospitals in the city would only treat Delhi residents till the rising COVID-19 cases are contained. As per Delhi’s statistics, at any given time nearly 60-70% of patients in Delhi hospitals are from other States and opening hospitals for all might fill capacity of beds within three days. 


Delhi government increased health care expenditure substantially in recent times and increased capacity of beds, quality of primary, secondary and tertiary health care.  It faced resistance in expanding healthcare facility at various levels. Decisions of such nature might come from that anger.

Decision of Delhi government is hardly ethical:

  • Inward looking approach: This type of decisions mostly tend to be more self interested healthcare norms and more individualistic, limited to certain area.
  • Violation of human rights: Human vulnerability should not be used for discrimination on the basis of residence. It also shows lack of empathetic liaison towards diseased patient as empathy is basic ethos to treat any patient. It is against human right principles and medical right of citizens.
  • Against constitutionalism: Government decision also depicts lack of understanding of constitutional principles.  It’s our fundamental right to get health treatment and right to get timely medical treatment in government hospitals under article 21.
  • Parochial politics: Also this step of government is seen to be politically motivated and promoting regionalism which could set bad precedent in India. This would be congruous in situations where political strife could lead such aid being used in favour of one group over another. 
  • Absence of compassionate governance: Our conflict of interest should not influence our medical judgement. It shows lack of altruism as it can affect the migrant worker and many other impoverished families not a local resident.
  • Violation of medical ethics: Medical doctors have an ethical duty to protect the human rights and human dignity of the patient. Medical ethics requires respect for the human rights of the patient.
  • Patient must be protected and held with personal integrity and such individuals need to be respected. 

Such decisions from the states indicate unrealised objective of cooperative federalism. It cannot be defended even with the saying of desperate time calls for desperate measure. 

Universal solidarity is the key. There should be sense of more solidarity in this situation of pandemic along with on community, universal welfare, and the unselfish wish to provide healthcare equally for all is required.

In this time of pandemic, there has been display of philanthropic efforts, uplifted humanitarian values, increased compassion and understanding of suffering of others therefore such decisions must be resisted and healthcare infrastructure should be more increased to benefit all citizens without discrimination by all states.


Need to develop Medical humanitarianism which can address and encourage commitment and motivation to help underserved and uneducated communities to minimize healthcare disparities which will help to create universal health care system.

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