Often when people near the end of life, secondary to an illness, they begin to contemplate their lives and recognize that of all the things they've accumulated and all the accolades that have been bestowed upon them, nothing is as valuable as life itself.

When you stop and think about it, there is nothing that should be protected more than life itself. One of the mechanisms whereby we protect that precious entity is medical care. So the question arises, if it's the most valuable thing we possess, whose responsibility is it to protect it? Is it the responsibility of the individual who possesses it? Is it the responsibility of the society in which that individual is a constituent? The answers will most likely lie somewhere in between those two choices.
Certainly both the individual and society have something to gain by having healthy components. Neither of them benefits by simply expecting the other to take on the whole responsibility. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that an individual should take at least some responsibility for his or her own health and society should serve as a safety net.