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[[quoteright:320:[[WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Scott_Lang_Criminal_9024.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:320:[[Music/TupacShakur "Thug life, thug life, I gotta do what I gotta do!"]]]]

->''"You didn't really want to join the Black Order, Suman… you chose to become an exorcist to pay for a treatment for your daughter's rare disease."''
-->-- '''[[ChronicHeroSyndrome Allen Walker]]''', ''Manga/DGrayMan''

In countries where the healthcare sector is [[UsefulNotes/{{Capitalism}} mostly or entirely run for profit]], as a result of very poor or non-existent [[UsefulNotes/{{Socialism}} universal (publicly-provided or state-monitored) healthcare]], healthcare providers and insurers prioritise profit generation over the survival and wellbeing of the population.

Poor healthcare systems kill and ruin the lives of actual people, but are great fodder for the RuleOfDrama given that working- and even middle-class characters can be just one perfectly ordinary accident (foreign body, broken bone, lopped-off finger) or medical condition (myopia, 'flu, diabetes) - let alone SoapOperaDisease - away from being completely bankrupted or dying.

Saving themselves or a dying family member/lover/friend is a great motivation for a character to do (morally questionable) things that they otherwise might not, especially if money-grubbing private hospitals refuse to treat people without insurance unless they're paid cash upfront (this does actually happen, sadly). Whether it's [[{{Workaholic}} working themselves to the bone]], getting indebted [[LoanShark to shady characters]], participating in [[TheMostDangerousGame gladiatorial blood-sports]], being a mercenary/hitman, or [[SingleMomStripper selling their body]] - [[HealthcareMotivation love can inspire them to do all sorts of unusual things]].

The USA ''does'' have a (poor) public health system which covers emergency treatments. But AsYouKnow, many (tens of) thousands of deaths ensue annually from preventable or treatable conditions which are allowed to fester because they do not meet the 'emergency' criteria until they have passed the point by which the patient's life can actually be saved. Their public system is also notoriously miserly with 'aesthetic' conditions which do not significantly impair the patient's quality-of-life, and so-called 'experimental' treatments. Of the 35 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which includes all but four of the world's wealthiest) countries only Mexico and the USA don't have Universal Healthcare (defined as curbing profit-seeking by providers and covering both preventative care and 'aesthetic' conditions), so this trope is virtually absent in non-US international media.

One way of getting around the USA's public health system's criteria is to classify curing the patient's affliction as an 'optional' treatment or a procedure that requires a specialized doctor to be brought in for any chance of success, skirting the federal law in that they're not ''refusing'' to give care because the patient is indigent, but not providing a specific ''kind'' of care. Even outside the USA, experimental treatment that's only available in one country is a way to make the HealthcareMotivation trope universal: state or private insurance might cover the treatment itself, but probably not the plane tickets and other expenses. One also has to look at the time period involved -- some of those "duty to care" laws are relatively recent, or have had poor enforcement in the past. And in some cases, hospital administrators might believe it's cheaper to pay fines than bankrupt themselves over a particularly expensive patient.

SisterTrope of BillyNeedsAnOrgan. Often overlaps with JustifiedCriminal when said character engages into morally dubious, illegal, if not outright criminal acts.

Obviously related to LittlestCancerPatient, IllGirl, IncurableCoughOfDeath and SoapOperaDisease. See also SignedUpForTheDental for a more personal version.

!! "Non criminal" Examples


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* What motivates Jonouchi/Joey in ''Anime/YuGiOh'' for entering the Duelist Kingdom Tournament is to pay for a treatment for his soon-to-be-blind little sister Shizuka/Serenity with the huge reward. Double subverted as he loses in the last round, but is still essentially given the money by another sympathetic competitor [[spoiler:(his best friend Yugi)]].
* The title character of ''Anime/MaiHime'' tires herself out working in order to transfer her sick little brother to a hospital where he can be treated properly.
* In ''Manga/HajimeNoIppo'', Alexander Volg Zangief comes to Japan to earn money from professional boxing and help his ill and poor mother in Russia. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, he fails.]]
* In ''Manga/{{Toriko}}'' Takimaru's motivation for retrieving the Century Soup (the MacGuffin of one arc) is to use the money he'll get for retrieving it to buy his mentor Aimaru a cure for the numerous illnesses he's been infected with (since his ability is to [[EmpathicHealer absorb illness]], which eventually took its toll).
* The main motivation of the Takakura siblings in ''Anime/MawaruPenguindrum'' is to find a cure for Himari's illness after she comes back from the dead in the first episode. This goes double for Kanba, who has several shady contacts and a DealWithTheDevil with [[spoiler:Sanetoshi]] just to get the money for the cure.
** Subverted by [[spoiler:Masako]]. Her younger brother [[spoiler:Mario]] is in a similar situation, but while she accepts [[spoiler:Sanetoshi]]'s DealWithTheDevil, she later rebels against him and tries to get [[spoiler:her ''other'' brother]] Kanba to do the same.
* ''Manga/BlackJack'' invokes this a few times; since Black Jack is operating illegally in the first place, he can charge any fee he likes, and some characters do indeed wind up doing things they never would have considered otherwise to pay the money.
* Suman Dark in ''Manga/DGrayMan'' half-heartedly became an Exorcist to pay for his daughter's treatement. When he betrays the Order to save his life and be able to see his family again, it doesn't end well for him.
* In ''Anime/DuelMasters'', Benny Ha-ha tells one of these stories in an effort to convince Shobu to forfeit. It's a lie. (In the original version, it's a generic young girl; in the dub, it's young Mimi.)
* In ''Manga/{{Ratman}}'', ANK Security's corporate-sponsored [[SmugSuper hero]] comes across as a real {{Jerkass}}, intentionally putting innocent lives at greater risk by sabotaging a sprinkler system during a fire in a crowded hotel specifically so his rescue efforts will seem more impressive. At first, he claims that heroism itself died when corporate sponsorship became typical, and boasts about basking in money and prestige. It's only later that we discover that Ankaiser's mother has steep medical bills, and both money, prestige, and how impressive his fights become are all vital to keeping his Hero Rank and corporate sponsorship going.
* ''Manga/BladeOfTheImmortal'':
** O-Ren has been working in a brothel since she was 13 to pay for her mother's treatment. It's implied that several other prostitutes are in the same boat.
** Giichi became a government spy to take care of his son, who dies partway through the story.
* In ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', the first indication the viewer gets that [[spoiler:Toji Suzuhara]] is the Fourth Child is when some people are heard discussing [[spoiler:his]] deciding to be the pilot on the condition that [[spoiler:his little sister]] gets medical treatment with NERV, and [[spoiler:Toji]] is shown walking down the halls of the hospital while this is heard.
* In ''Manga/MuhyoAndRoji'', Enchu's desire to support his sick and poor mother fuels his efforts to become an Executor. This is possibly deconstructed when the committee deciding whether he or Muhyo would be promoted was concerned about his preoccupation with his sick mother. Their concerns are not entirely unfounded, as her death, combined with his being passed over, triggers his FaceHeelTurn [[spoiler:([[JustAsPlanned just as Teeki planned when he killed her]])]].
* In ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'', Kurz joined Mithril to pay the hospital bills of a girl who was injured in one of his old missions. [[spoiler:More exactly, the one where he and his EvilMentor were supposed to kill the assassins of Kurz's parents. Kurz had second thoughts when he realised [[InnocentBystander the girl would be hurt]], but the EvilMentor still fired anyway.]]
* In ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', [[spoiler:Akira and Natsumi]] sell themselves into slavery in [[spoiler:the Magical World]] to get the medicines for an ill [[spoiler:Ako]]. While she gets better soon, said meds are so expensive that she has to sell herself as well. Negi finds out and signs up at a local tournament to raise money and release them, [[spoiler:which works very well]].
* The reason why [[spoiler:Tokiko Chida]] from ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' became the local HotScientist was to find a cure [[spoiler:for her little brother Mamiya]]. [[spoiler:She failed, and Mamiya died in another incident. The "Mamiya" that Mikage sees is actually Anthy in disguise, as [[TraumaInducedAmnesia he had mentally blocked out the real one's death]].]]
* Played with Leorio in ''Manga/HunterXHunter'': introduced as greedy and money-obsessed, the man reveals he lost his childhood friend Pietro due to a treatable disease because Pietro's parents were poor. Now, he wants to become a doctor to give free healthcare to people in his friend's situation... but it turns out that becoming a doctor costs even ''more'' money, making him go to extreme ends to get funding. (He doesn't resort to crime, but he risks his life multiple times in the infamous hunter exams.)
* In ''Anime/HanaNoKoLunlun'', Lunlun befriends the kids of an OrphanageOfLove in Southern Italy, who are looking for a treasure from UsefulNotes/WorldWarII supposedly buried near the orphanage so they can get money for the local IllGirl's eye operation. [[spoiler:They find it -- and it's actually ''a not-detonated bomb''. As the police and the press arrive and the whole country's attention is on them, the desperate kids refuse to hand the bomb over ''even when the IllGirl pleads with them AND the GoldfishPoopGang [[KickTheDog tries to detonate it]]'', and Lunlun then explains the situation to the camera and begs people for donations. This works: the girl is soon operated on and it's implied some good-hearted people are offering to adopt the children.]]
* ''Anime/VariableGeo'': Shortly after [[TheDragon Damian]] discovers Satomi's latent fighting potential, [[NebulousEvilOrganization The Jahana Group]] pressures her into entering the VG tournament by causing [[IllGirl her brother's]] [[SoapOperaDisease condition]] to relapse, just as he'd begun to show signs of improving. Damian offers to cover the costs of the procedure needed to treat Daisuke, [[AnOfferYouCantRefuse in exchange for]] [[SympatheticSentientWeapon her "cooperation".]]
* During the Bega arc of ''Anime/BeyBlade G Revolution'' it is revealed that Crusher only became a professional beyblader in order to earn money to pay for an expensive operation that his little sister Monica desperately needs. While he succeeds and Monica gets her operation, it also comes back to bite him in the ass when Boris holds this over his head as a means to manipulate him into sabotaging Tyson.
* In ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', it's eventually revealed to be what motivated [[spoiler: Bertolt Hoover]]. The military was providing medical care for their ailing father, who was able to "die in comfort" thanks to their child's service.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* It often was ComicBook/SpiderMan's motivation himself -- his aunt May needs either medicine or an operation. The classic "Master Planner" story was probably the best example.

* In Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/TheRunningMan'' (published under the pen name Richard Bachman), Richards signs up for the Games to get money to get his daughter medical care.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* On an episode of ''Series/LawAndOrderSVU'', one couple end up doing porn to pay for their daughter's expensive cystic fibrosis treatment. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, it turns out Mommy Dearest ''liked'' the job a little too much, and ends up [[MissingMom skipping off to Vegas]] hoping to break a porn record or two.]]
* The Turkish SoapOpera ''Binbir Gece'' (VERY loosely based on ''Literature/ArabianNights'') has the beautiful DeterminedWidow Sehrzat, whose son Kaan has leukemia. Having been rejected by her dead husband's family and being desperate for any source of moeny to pay for the treatment, she's stuck with an offer from her ''very'' handsome boss Onur (who has been crushing on her for a while): he will put up enough "dough"... [[SleepingWithTheBoss on the condition that she spends a whole night with him.]]

* Elsie of ''Theatre/TheYeomenOfTheGuard'' agrees to marry Fairfax prior to his execution because she needs the thousand crowns for her ill mother.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* This is one of the stock Melodramatic Hooks for ''TabletopGame/FengShui'', and often sees use with characters like Killers and Thieves (though any character type can get stuck with this).

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Buying medicine for [[spoiler:his sister Castille]] is what motivates [[spoiler:Walnut]] in ''VideoGame/PhantomBrave''.
* Dhalsim's motivation for entering the ''StreetFighter'' tournament is to use the prize money to buy medicine for his village. The skulls he wears around his neck belong to [[TragicKeepsake local children who died due to lack of meds and treatment.]]
** In SFIV, Dhalsim's motivation isn't that different. He wants to find Seth and confront him on how a S.I.N. has built a dam far upstream blocking a river that provides water (and trade, fishing, etc.) to his village. His ending shows the damn being demolished and the river being reclaimed by the happy villagers.
* ''[[VideoGame/ArtOfFighting Art of Fighting 2]]'': King entered the King of Fighters to win the money she needed to fund her kid brother, Jan's, operation. While she didn't win, Ryo and Robert pooled their winnings to fund the operation for her, [[LaserGuidedKarma as thanks for helping them save Yuri the year before]].
** This carried over to the ''[[VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters King of Fighters]]'' series, which is an alternate continuity of both the ''VideoGame/FatalFury'' and ''Art of Fighting'' series. King entered the '94 tournament to pay for Jan's operation, using her winnings in subsequent showings to pay for his continued treatment. The Women's Team '96 ending was a homage to King's ''[=AoF=] 2'' ending, as [[http://www.vgmuseum.com/end/neogeo/b/kof96gor.htm Mai and Kasumi]] combined their share of the winnings to surprise her, by flying Jan to their location so she could see him.
* ''VideoGame/DeadRising2'' sees Chuck forced into ''Terror Is Reality'' in order to earn money for [[ZombieInfectee his daughter's]] Zombrex.
* VideoGame/{{Nier}} needs money for Yonah's medicine... even though her disease, the Black Scrawl, is terminal. In ''Replicant'', when he can't find enough odd jobs and quests in his village, [[DespairEventHorizon he resorts to prostituting himself]].
* In ''[[VideoGame/DeadOrAlive Dead or Alive 2]]'', [[BadassGrandpa Gen Fu]] entered the DOATEC tournament to save his ill granddaughter, after hearing that the [[FinalBoss Tengu's]] nose was a magical cure-all. It's never said whether he succeeded, since [[VideoGame/NinjaGaiden Hayabusa]] was the one who slew Tengu; thus becoming the second [[{{Canon}} canonical champion]] of the tournament. But, by the time of ''DOA 4'', Gen Fu's granddaughter is said to have made a full recovery and all of her medical expenses are paid off, which ended his involvement in the series.
* Emitai, one of your opponents in the Contest of Champions in ''VideoGame/BreathOfFire3'', is fighting to get money for his ill daughter's operation. [[spoiler:Subverted when you find out he's lying about the illness -- he's conning his opponents into throwing the fights out of sympathy. When you beat him, he grudgingly admits to being impressed you didn't fall for it, while his wife chews him out for not being convincing enough.]]
* As mentioned below, in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword]]'', Dorcas starts as a bandit to earn money for the medicine his wife Natalie needs. After being steered away from it and joining Lyndis's group, he switches to the non-criminal motivation, and in either Eliwood's or Hector's routes he and his best friend Bartre join the troops to earn the money they still are in need of. If Dorcas makes it to the end, he gets said money and meds, and Natalie starts recovering soon.
* ''[[VideoGame/AdvancedVariableGeo Advanced V.G.]]'': Unlike her later OVA portrayal, Satomi's motivation in the game itself involves no blackmail whatsoever. She joins the tournament of her own free will in hopes of winning the prize money for her brother's treatment.
* Gruga in ''VideoGame/ArcTheLad 2'' enters the tournament to win the money to pay to cure his adopted daughter's blindness.
* Sparrowson's [[spoiler:hospitalization over eating a poisoned wrapper]] in case 2 of ''VideoGame/AviaryAttorney'' leads to a very dismaying bill, but a doctor offers to lower it if he can get a successful inventor to finally pay a bill ''he'' has due.
* In ''VideoGame/TheJackboxPartyPack 3'''s "Tee K.O.", a nekomata, one of the characters that can be chosen, enters the T-shirt competition so they can get treatment for their ailing mother. If they win, [[spoiler: the Mayo Clinic gets moved by the victory and heal the mother free of charge, while also giving her cybernetic thumbs and a bluetooth spleen.]]

[[folder:Visual Novel]]
* In ''VisualNovel/ZeroTimeDilemma'', Carlos signs up to participate in the experiment that leads to the events of the game because he wants the five hundred thousand dollar reward for his sister's medical care.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', Applejack wants to go to the Grand Galloping Gala to set up shop there and raise enough money to, among other things, buy a new hip for Granny Smith.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/JemAndTheHolograms'' 3-parter "Starbright", the band initially wants to pull out of the titular film project when their rivals The Misfits become part of it and start jockeying for focus. At the end of part one, however, Jerrica (Jem's true identity) learns that one of the Starlight House's foster girls, Ba Nee, is going blind and an expensive operation is needed to restore her sight. Leaving the film would mean missing out on making the money that could pay for it, so for the girl's sake, Jem and the Holograms stay on. Even when the TroubledProduction splits the project into rival films, the good guys soldier on and the end result is a box-office success that saves Ba Nee.

!!"Illegal activity" examples

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* One episode of ''Anime/SamuraiChamploo'' has a person who steals to get money to pay for medicine for his ailing mother.
* Also happens in ''Anime/CowboyBebop'', of which ''Anime/SamuraiChamploo'' is something of a SpiritualSuccessor. It ends just as badly for the thieves, although at least here they were actually able to get the cure for [[spoiler:one of the thieves's blind sister, a girl named Stella]], so their death wasn't totally in vain.
* [[spoiler:Shanalua Mullen]] of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE'' has a young sister with an unspecified illness that requires hospitalization and very expensive care, so she takes a very lucrative offer to spy on her own comrades for Vagan.
* In ''Anime/HanaNoKoLunlun'', this was the motivation behind [[spoiler:the lockpick Dario]]'s DarkAndTroubledPast in the Italy arc. [[spoiler:He needed money for his son's medicine and the local bank robbers offered him a part of the money to be stolen in exchange for him using his lockpicking skills for their benefit.]] It backfired horribly: [[spoiler:they got caught, Dario ''barely'' escaped but became a fugitive, and [[ShootTheShaggyDog his kid died]].]]
* In ''Anime/WeissKreuz'', it's revealed early on that the reason Ran "Aya" Fujimiya became an assassin, and takes any job he's given (even though they are given the option to refuse jobs they don't like), is because his little sister Aya-chan is in a coma after an accident [[spoiler:(which turns out to ''not'' have been accidental)]], and he took up the work to pay for her medical bills. [[spoiler: She wakes up and recovers later.]]
* In ''Anime/MawaruPenguindrum'', [[spoiler:the aforementioned Kanba becomes increasingly involved with the Takakura family's illegal terrorist group in order to use their connections to gather money to pay for Himari's treatment. By the end, he's even personally ordering hits on people who [[HeKnowsTooMuch Know Too Much]] and outright seems to be the group's leader. However, [[LoveMakesYouEvil this is very much played as an awful, corrupting thing on him]], and both Himari and Shouma want him to stop. In the end, he goes the RedemptionEqualsDeath way.]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* This was the motivation given by the Vulture once for robbing a bank, to pay for his granddaughter's operation. Spider-Man brings him in anyway but gives the money to the girl's mother. (The bank manager was apparently an asshole, [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality so it all works out fine]].)
* In ''ComicBook/UltimateXMen'', the conjoined twin mutant brothers calling themselves Syndicate rob a bank that Xavier happened to be visiting and hold everyone there hostage because they are trying to pay for their little sister's operation. Xavier uses his powers to fake their deaths at the hands of the police and recruits them as his personal spies in exchange for paying for their sister's treatment.
* ComicBook/BoosterGold was originally a college football star from a poor family; in most versions of the story, his mother became seriously ill and Booster started betting on and throwing his games in order to get the money for her treatment.
* The Mirror Master in one issue of the ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' spinoff comic is trying to raise the money for an operation for his wheelchair-bound son. At one point, he holds [[spoiler:illusionary people]] hostage and demands a ransom of exactly the amount he needs.
* In ''ComicBook/{{NYX}}'', Felon often uses his powers for shady jobs in order to raise money to get his severely autistic brother, Lil' Bro, out of ComicBook/DistrictX and into a school where he can get the care he needs. He ultimately takes on New York pimp Zebra Daddy's job to track down a [[ComicBook/{{X 23}} runaway prostitute]]. [[spoiler:When Zebra Daddy decides to kill X and everyone else involved, it results in a HeelFaceTurn.]]
* ''ComicBook/TheDarkKnightReturns'': A general supplies military weapons to criminals to pay for his wife's cancer treatment and commits suicide when Batman finds him.
* Several IJustWantToBeNormal-type villains, notably the Rhino on Spider-Man's side of things and Killer Croc on Batman's, have this as their go-to motivation for knocking over a bank or taking some hit-job.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'', the Aurors guarding Azkaban are known to [[IllPretendIDidntHearThat look the other way]] when people sneak in to give prisoners illegal chocolate and Patronus time, for the right price. What the right price is depends on which Auror catches you -- Bahry, whose wife is ill and needs expensive treatments, demands the highest price by far.

* ''Film/StreetAngel'': Angela's mother's severe illness makes her resort to prostitution.
* Clara Bow becomes a {{Streetwalker}} in ''Film/CallHerSavage'' so she can buy medicine for her baby.
* The whole premise of ''Film/JohnQ'', a (rather {{Anvilicious}} for many) critique of the American health-care system. After failing to earn enough money to operate on his son Michael, John Quincy Archibald [[TakeAThirdOption Takes A Third Option]] and takes the hospital hostage, demanding a free treatment [[spoiler:and brewing a ThanatosGambit to get himself killed and donate his own heart to his kid. Even when John is eventually subdued, Michael is saved and it's strongly implied that John will leave jail rather soon, probably due to his desperate circumstances.]]
* ''Film/DogDayAfternoon''. One of the reasons that Sonny robbed the bank was to get money to pay for a friend's sex change operation.
* ''Catch That Kid''. A group of children rob a high-security bank to pay for surgery for the father of one of the kids.
* ''Film/SympathyForMrVengeance'' has the main character kidnap a child for ransom in order to pay for a kidney transplant for his sister. It goes to hell from there.
* In ''Film/SpiderMan3'', Flint Marko aka Sandman steals to pay for medical treatment for his critically ill daughter, Penny.
* The French film ''Yamakasi'' has this for a premise. A small boy gets hurt trying to imitate the famous [[LeParkour Parkour]] group and needs very expensive surgery which his family is too poor to afford. So the Yamakasi decide to apologize to the family by robbing some very rich people and paying for the surgery, [[ExtremeSportExcusePlot doing awesome stunts in the process]].
* The title character of ''Film/TheKiller'' takes on a final assassination job in order to pay for the corneal surgery of a woman who he accidentally blinded in the movie's first shootout. The plot ensues when his handler's boss, Wong Hoi, decides to take out a ContractOnTheHitman rather than pay him.
* Andrew from the film ''Film/{{Chronicle}}'' commits robbery to pay for his cancer stricken mother's medication.
* Johnny, of ''Film/JohnnyDangerously'', became the famous gangster that he is to pay for his mother's increasingly high medical bills (the more money Johnny acquires, [[MovingTheGoalposts the higher the price the doctor charges...]])
* In ''Film/DirtyWork'', the protagonists start their revenge business to raise the $50,000 a gambling addict doctor needs to pay off his bookies so he will be alive to operate on the father of one of the protagonists (who turns out to be the father of the other protagonist, too).
* This is a driving factor in ''{{Film/Elysium}}''. Max has been exposed to lethal levels of radiation because of his employer's negligence, and his girlfriend's daughter is dying of cancer. He agrees to commit a dangerous robbery in order to pay for his ticket to the titular space station, where magical machines that can heal anything are freely available.

[[folder: Jokes]]
* Parodied in a joke about the [[CanadaEh Canadian]] version of ''Series/BreakingBad'':
-->'''Opening Scene:''' ''Walter White sits in his doctor's office. The Doctor looks at him seriously''.\\
'''Walter:''' How bad is it?\\
'''Doctor:''' I'm afraid it's cancer. I'll schedule you in to begin treatment next week. Just make sure the hospital has your Medicare number.\\
''[[[CouldHaveAvoidedThisPlot Closing Credits]]]''

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* There's a whole season arc of ''Series/FridayNightLights'' around this -- Mindy's pregnancy isn't going well, but lacking health insurance, Billy can't afford to get her hospitalized and ensure she and the baby are stable. So what does he do? [[spoiler:He starts stripping cars for money.]]
* ''Series/{{Psych}}'' subverts this: One episode was centered around a sufferer of Van Wilder's Disease, a disease that required regular blood transfusions. Naturally, the murderer had no health insurance and [[ABNegative a rare blood type]], so he killed people for their blood and robbed blood banks ''for his own healthcare''.
* ''Series/{{Flashpoint}}'' episode "Thicker Than Blood". A man's son has leukemia. He robs a credit union in order to get enough money to pay for his son's bone marrow transplant.
** Also in the episode "First in Line", a man is informed by his hospital that that a donor heart is available for his dying daughter, only to discover the heart will be given to someone else because of a mix-up. He takes a hospital wing hostage, demanding that his daughter receive the transplant.
* Subverted by ''Series/BreakingBad''. Walter ostensibly gets into the meth trade in order to help pay for [[spoiler:first]] his [[spoiler:and later, Hank's]] medical care and provide for his family after he's gone. However, very early in the series, some wealthy friends [[ShouldntYouStopStealing offer him a well-paying job with excellent health insurance]] and then to pay his bills outright, both of which he [[FatalFlaw refuses out of pride]]. Although he continues to use this as an excuse, both to himself and others, [[YouKeepTellingYourselfThat it quickly becomes clear to the audience]] that his real reasons are less noble.
* ''{{Series/Arrow}}'':
** {{Subverted}} by Roy Harper, who spins a tale of a sick relative to explain why he turned to crime when Thea confronts him over a stolen bag. After returning the bag (emptied of its cash), he tells her not to believe everything she hears from guys like him, winks, and closes the door in her face.
** Played straight in the episode "Time of Death"; wanting to pay for a medical treatment for his dying sister is what motivates William Tockman (the Clock King) into committing a series of bank robberies.
* There is an episode of ''Series/TalesFromTheCrypt'' where a man who is an artist has been killing people to paint their death scenes. His significant other discovers this and is badly injured trying to get away -- at the hospital, he finds out that she can only be saved by an extremely expensive specialist, so he goes out to the parking lot and kills someone so he can sell the painting for the money to pay. [[spoiler:[[{{Irony}} The person he killed was the specialist]], so it didn't matter anyway.]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* This is Rowd's motivation in ''VideoGame/SuikodenII'' to join the ranks of TheCaligula Luca Blight's QuirkyMinibossSquad.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'':
** In [[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword]]'', Dorcas joins up with a group of bandits to earn money for the medicine his IllGirl wife needs. Fortunately, Lyn is there to straighten him out.
** In ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Radiant Dawn]]'', Heather steals medicine for her mom.
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'', [[CountryMouse Holland]] joins some bandits to get enough money to take care of his heavily pregnant wife. The player must keep the guy alive to recruit a certain girl who is also press-ganged by the bandits and whom he struck an OddFriendship with: [[spoiler:Cordelia's KidFromTheFuture, Severa.]]
*** ''Awakening'' also lampshades the trope [[PlayedForLaughs for laughs]] in one of the Outrealm missions: einjerhar Caeda tries to recruit one of the party members by asking if they're trying to support an ill mother and offering gold for medicine. This is actually a direct reference to ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia Shadow Dragon]]'', where she asks the same question of recruitable character Roger; he's not (his parents having long since passed), but just having someone ''care'' about him is enough for him to change sides.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In Soryu's sequel route in ''VisualNovel/KissedByTheBaddestBidder'', this turns out to be the reason that [[spoiler:Kyoichiro]] turned against the Ice Dragons: his mother is critically ill and he needs a large amount of money to pay the only doctor who might be able to cure her. When he finds out, Soryu blames himself for not realizing that one of his men was in that kind of need, since if he had known he would simply have paid for the doctor himself. [[spoiler:Which is precisely what he and Eisuke proceed to do.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* This is how a rape is "commissioned" in ''Webcomic/{{Concession}}''. Ironically, the ill girl dies that very night.
* In one storyarc of ''Webcomic/{{Jack|DavidHopkins}}'', a man becomes the assistant of a doctor who is working on inventing a new treatment that could potentially cure the man's wife's terminal illness. [[spoiler:Then he discovers the doctor molesting the children he is using for his "clinical trials".]] The man agrees to keep quiet because he wants to save his wife. In a bit of karmic backlash, his wife is horrified when the man admits the truth and the stress kills her. The man has to endure Purgatory and at least one more life filled with hardship and pain before he can be reunited with her. In fact, this is why the doctor chose him to be his assistant. Someone who didn't have this kind of motivation would have reported him in a heartbeat.
* Subverted in ''Webcomic/LatchkeyKingdom'', where Willa's kidnapper is [[http://latchkeykingdom.smackjeeves.com/comics/2265515/minion-15/ quick to add]] that the "operation" is not of the medical sort.
-->'''Jane:''' This is just a job to me. I'm only doing it because my mom needs money for her operation. ''(next panel)'' Well, it's more of a scheme really. She swears she just needs H⃒500 to crack the Shadowwood cluck cluck races wide open.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': When Mr. Burns and several other employers decided to cancel their health plans, some people (Flanders included, to see how serious it was) decided to break the law to obtain medicine. It's different from most (if not all) other criminal examples in that the crime wasn't to get money to buy remedies but to bring the remedies themselves. They smuggled them from Canada.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'': As pictured above, long before Scott Lang became the second ComicBook/AntMan, he helped crime boss Crossfire rob banks to pay for the medical treatment of Scott's daughter, IllGirl Cassie.
* In ''WesternAnimation/MutantLeague'', an old friend and former teammate of Bones' father is being blackmailed by Zalgor Prig for throwing a game. When Bones asks him why he did it, the guy explains that he had a wife once, and he was offered money for her treatment in exchange for a few bad plays. But the money was too little, too late, and she died anyway.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' example when they already received healthcare, but in debt. Joe Swanson has trouble with his medical bills resorting to a loan shark after Bonnie ''[[LongestPregnancyEver finally]]'' gave birth. He, Peter, Quagmire, and Cleveland attempt to rob Carter's vault as their final act of desperation.

* In 1969, psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg studied moral reasoning by presenting his subjects with a series of stories dealing with moral dilemmas and asking them why the people in the stories should (or shouldn't) have taken the actions they did. The most famous of these stories concerns a man whose wife desperately needs a drug which a local pharmacist has developed. However, the pharmacist is trying to make money off the drug and is charging far more for it than it costs to make. In the end, the man, having failed to obtain the drug through legitimate means, breaks into the pharmacy and steals the drug.