Democratic Ethical Consumption and Social Justice

Public Health Ethics 15 (2):130-137 (2022)
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Hassoun argues that the poor in the world have a right to health and that the Global Health Impact Index provides consumers in well-off countries with the opportunity to ensure that more people have access to essential medicines. Because of this, these consumers would be ethically obliged to purchase Global Health Impact Index-labeled products in the face of existing global inequalities. In presenting her argument, Hassoun rejects the so-called democratic account of ethical consumption in favor of the positive change account. Two versions of the democratic change account are relevant. One underscores the importance of democratic procedures and institutions, while the other stresses our fundamental moral equality. While at least one prominent institutionalist account has problems, revised versions would be less vulnerable to Hassoun’s counterexamples. Furthermore, institutionalist accounts come with the epistemological gains from democratic procedures and deliberations, which may be especially important under uncertainty. Finally, and perhaps more challenging for the Global Health Impact index project, this measure may place the burden unfairly on those who need to buy medicines. This is a pivotal insight from the non-institutionalist version of the democratic account of ethical consumption.

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Andreas Albertsen
Aarhus University

Citations of this work

Global Health Impact.Anders Herlitz - 2022 - Public Health Ethics 15 (2):117-118.

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