Church or State? Family Care for the Elderly

Government medical care of the elderly through Medicare is a hot topic in any election year. Such a debate can also be useful in thinking about notions of family provision for elderly family members. William Sydnor Jr., Regent Juris Doctor 2012 has written an article examining this discussion in "Church or State - Who Should Take Care of the Elderly."

His article begins with an explanation of the foundational natural law obligation for Christians to care for and honor their mothers and fathers. With a view toward strong families, he also discusses why this commandment is not restricted to one’s blood relatives. The article then provides an historical background of the provision of welfare; explaining the Church’s role in welfare provision prior to the enactment of the current government programs provides historical context for a current debate.

Sydnor then explains how the Church currently participates in the provision of welfare. outlining the current level of involvement by the Church. An explanation of the role of the government in the provision of welfare assistance in the United States to the elderly specifically through the development of Medicare and Medicaid is then offered.

The article explains how Medicare and Medicaid have become unsustainable fiscally while also effectively pushing the Christian provision of welfare out of the picture. Sydnor offers a solution that is grounded in natural law that will, if adhered to, serve to reinstate the Church into its mandated role as provider of welfare. He writes, "The Church must take the first move providing fully for the needs of the truly indigent elderly (without government assistance); thus, leaving the government with the decision to either continue as is, providing more benefits than receipts allow, or to cut the benefits paid to the elderly. This would allow Congress to exit the welfare business without political consequences; thus, ending the almost absolute tax on earnings currently funding Medicare, and allowing Christian values of generosity and love for one’s neighbor to replace it." Read his entire article here.

Family care for the elderly can be accomplished without government intervention. Providing for elderly family members' medical care is a notion that is worth exploring in the pursuit of family restoration.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    i need to have my father's house transferred over to me. Because of his age and tax discounts, with utilities too etc. should i be looking for a real estate or elder law lawyer?
    Personal Injury Attorney Florida