Healthy people have a duty to self care

According to a paper published in the Self Care Journal in February 2015, healthy people have a duty to maintain their own health through self care.  Entitled The responsibilities of the healthy: a manifesto for self care, the paper suggests that while there is substantial literature on the duties of health professionals to look after the health of their patients and individuals there is very little duty placed on the healthy individual to avoid bad lifestyle choices.

In the same vein, the paper states that it is also the responsibility of a healthy person to use healthcare resources appropriately and therefore to self care for self-limiting illnesses.  It further advises people to promote health and wellbeing to their children and that without self care the emerging epidemic of lifestyle diseases threatens to swamp healthcare systems around the world.

In conclusion, the paper states that we cannot continue to delegate responsibility for our health to others and must self care to maintain our health.

If further proposes a “self care manifesto” which illustrates the responsibilities of individuals, health professionals and Government and communities.

The Self Care Manifesto

According to the manifesto:

The individual – should adopt a healthy lifestyle; use health resources only when needed, and first practice self care.

Health professionals – should provide self care advice and support on risk factors for major diseases; provide advice on the self-limiting nature of common illnesses and treatment options.

Governments and communities –should provide initiatives to support healthy lifestyles information  in schools; provide incentives to primary care professionals to prioritise the provision of self care advice on the responsible use of health resources.