Health and Education: A Tale of Two Crises

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 22 (1):53-62 (1994)
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This is a tale of two social structures, health care and education. Both systems are undeniably critical to our social fabric, and even to our national prosperity. Both systems also provide services that are uniquely personal and vital to individual well-being. And both systems are now widely perceived as being in “crisis,” as needing “fundamental reform.”At the same time, there are fundamental differences in the ways the two sectors are organized and understood. Health care is essentially a system of private relationships; education a system of public responsibilities. Although each system is extraordinarily complex and contains elements that defy neat categorization, by highlighting the contrasting visions and structures of the two, one gleans useful insights both into the distinctive failings of each and into potential directions for reform.



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