Medical treatment: A human right or privilege? October 3, 2016 — by Christopher Lee and Stephen Ding The outcome of the court ruling determined that their children had a right to medical treatment, establishing that medical treatment is not a privilege but a right. In 2009, a Christian-Protestant couple, Herbert and Catherine Schaible were convicted of involuntary manslaughter after failing to provide medical treatment for their 2-year-old son, leading to his death. Four years after this incident, the Schaibles continued their practice of Christian prayer treatments and denied their second son, an 8 month-old, proper medical care. As a result, their second child died of pneumonia, an illness that could have been easily treated with antibiotics. The outcome of the court ruling determined that their children had a right to medical treatment, establishing that medical treatment is not a privilege but a right. The conviction of the Schaibles has created the precedent of medical treatment as a human right, but the U.S. government has been treating the recent pharmaceutical controversy as otherwise. Recently, the distributor of the Epi-Pen product, Mylan, received widespread criticism for inflating prices 500 percent since 2009. Epi-Pens are crucial for individuals all around the world who suffer from major allergic reactions to insect stings and bites, drugs, foods and other allergens. An estimated 15 million people suffer from allergic reactions and Epi-Pens provide instant relief for the patient, saving countless lives from anaphylaxis. Mylan’s actions are violating Epi-Pen users’ right to medical treatment by preventing access of that medicine for the sake of profit. To resolve this problem, the government should create regulations to prevent Mylan from maintaining its monopoly on adrenaline-injection products. Similar to the Sherman Antitrust Act, which prevents certain companies from eliminating competition, the government can pass an act to regulate pharmaceutical companies from dominating the market. As a result, the act can serve to prevent Mylan from being able to inflate prices of Epi-pens without suffering from competitive prices. The regulations are more important than ever, as Mylan isn’t the only one inflating drug prices out of proportion, as a 2014 House of Representatives report revealed that the prices of 10 generic drugs rapidly increased over the past year, anywhere from a 420 percent to 1,000 percent inflation. Regulations are necessary for the government to implement, but vague laws that allow pharmaceutical companies to violate medical rights should be removed and replaced with ones that enforce a balance of affordability for common people and profit for companies.