Distributive justice and the harm to medical professionals fighting epidemics

Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (12):861-864 (2017)

Abstract

The exposure of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to risks in the context of epidemics is significant. While traditional medical ethics offers the thought that these dangers may limit the extent to which a duty to care is applicable in such situations, it has less to say about what we might owe to medical professionals who are disadvantaged in these contexts. Luck egalitarianism, a responsibility-sensitive theory of distributive justice, appears to fare particularly badly in that regard. If we want to maintain that medical professionals are responsible for their decisions to help, cure and care for the vulnerable, luck egalitarianism seems to imply that their claim of justice to medical attention in case of infection is weak or non-existent. The article demonstrates how a recent interpretation of luck egalitarianism offers a solution to this problem. Redefining luck egalitarianism as concerned with responsibility for creating disadvantages, rather than for incurring disadvantage as such, makes it possible to maintain that medical professionals are responsible for their choices and that those infected because of their choice to help fight epidemics have a full claim of justice to medical attention.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,766

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-11-04

Downloads
12 (#816,427)

6 months
1 (#386,989)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

What is the Point of Equality.Elizabeth Anderson - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):287-337.
Just Health: Meeting Health Needs Fairly.Norman Daniels - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
Equality and Equal Opportunity for Welfare.Richard J. Arneson - 1989 - Philosophical Studies 56 (1):77 - 93.
Luck Egalitarianism.Carl Knight - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (10):924-934.

View all 27 references / Add more references

Similar books and articles

Corrective Vs. Distributive Justice: The Case of Apologies.Andrew I. Cohen - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (3):663-677.
Gender.Anca Gheaus - 2018 - In Serena Olsaretti (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Distributive Justice. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 389-414.
Equality Versus Priority.Michael Otsuka & Alex Voorhoeve - 2018 - In Serena Olsaretti (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Distributive Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 65-85.
How Devolution Upsets Distributive Justice.Shlomi Segall - 2007 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (2):257-272.
Is Coercion a Ground of Distributive Justice?Andrea Sangiovanni - 2016 - Law and Philosophy 35 (3):271-290.
Distributive Justice, Geoengineering and Risks.Pak-Hang Wong - 2014 - The Climate Geoengineering Governance Working Papers.
Distributive Justice.Michael Allingham - 2013 - London: Routledge.
On the Autonomy of Corrective Justice.Klimchuk Dennis - 2003 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 23 (1):49-64.
Global Distributive Justice.Wilfried Hinsch - 2001 - Metaphilosophy 32 (1-2):58-78.
Distributive Justice and the Sovereignty Principle.William E. O'Brian - 2011 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 31 (1):1-21.