Is Health Inequality Across Individuals of Moral Concern?

Health Care Analysis 14 (1):25-36 (2006)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The history of the documentation of health inequality is long. The way in which health inequality has customarily been documented is by comparing differences in the average health across groups, for example, by sex or gender, income, education, occupation, or geographic region. In the controversial World Health Report 2000, researchers at the World Health Organization criticized this traditional practice and proposed to measure health inequality across individuals irrespective of individuals’ group affiliation. They defended its proposal on the moral grounds without clear explanation. In this paper I ask: is health inequality across individuals of moral concern, and, if so, why? Clarification of these questions is crucial for meaningful interpretation of health inequality measured across individuals. Only if there was something morally problematic in health inequality across individuals, its reduction would be good news. Specifically, in this paper I provide three arguments for the moral significance of health inequality across individuals: (a) health is special, (b) health equity plays an important and unique role in the general pursuit of justice, and (c) health inequality is an indicator of general injustice in society. I then discuss three key questions to examine the validity of these arguments: (i) how special is health?, (ii) how good is health as an indicator?, and (iii) what do we mean by injustice? I conclude that health inequality across individuals is of moral interest with the arguments (b) and (c)

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,202

External links

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

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Is inequality bad for our health?Jeffrey D. Milyo & Jennifer M. Mellor - 1999 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 13 (3-4):359-372.
Health and inequality, or, why justice is good for our health.Norman Daniels, Bruce Kennedy & Ichiro Kawachi - 2004 - In Sudhir Anand, Fabienne Peter & Amartya Sen (eds.), Public Health, Ethics, and Equity. Oxford University Press. pp. 63--91.
Broadening the bioethics agenda.Dan W. Brock - 2000 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 10 (1):21-38.
Norman Daniels. Just Health.T. Wilkinson - 2008 - Public Health Ethics 1 (3):268-272.
Gender and global health: inequality and differences.L. Doyal, S. Payne, S. Benatar & G. Brock - 2011 - In S. R. Benatar & Gillian Brock (eds.), Global Health and Global Health Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
How Should Political Philosophers Think of Health?D. M. Weinstock - 2011 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36 (4):424-435.

Analytics

Added to PP
2013-11-24

Downloads
37 (#409,683)

6 months
5 (#544,079)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?