Bioethics 32 (9):569-576 (2018)

Simon Derpmann
University of Münster
Solidarity is commonly invoked in the justification of public health care. This is understandable, as calls for and appeals to solidarity are effective in the mobilization of unison action and the willing- ness to incur sacrifices for others. However, the reference to solidarity as a moral notion requires caution, as there is no agreement on the meaning of solidarity. The article argues that the refer- ence to solidarity as a normative notion is relevant to health-related moral claims, but that it does not provide a convincing foundation of claims to universal health care. References to universal soli- darity obliterate an important distinction between those moral demands that are founded on principles like justice, recognition, or humanity, and those demands that stem from partisan rela- tions in communities. While there is no ‘separate essence’ of solidarity that could be referred to in order to argue for the conceptual necessity of solidarity’s partiality, some features may reasonably be stipulated as being essential to solidarity with a view to its systematic function within moral phi- losophy. The normative and motivational force of the ties invoked by solidarity is particularly relevant when basic moral demands are not met, and societies are in need of significant forms of communal relatedness.
Keywords health care  justice  partiality  solidarity  universality  welfare state
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/bioe.12444
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,979
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Precision Medicine and the Fragmentation of Solidarity.Leonard M. Fleck - 2022 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 25 (2):191-206.
Redefining Nursing Solidarity.Marta Domingo-Osle & Rafael Domingo - 2022 - Nursing Ethics 29 (3):651-659.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

New Types of Solidarity in the European Welfare State.Rob Houtepen - 2000 - Health Care Analysis 8 (4):329-340.
The Role of Solidarity in Social Responsibility for Health.Massimo Reichlin - 2011 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 14 (4):365-370.
Solidarity, Justice, and Recognition of the Other.Ruud ter Meulen - 2016 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 37 (6):517-529.
How Devolution Upsets Distributive Justice.Shlomi Segall - 2007 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (2):257-272.


Added to PP index

Total views
14 ( #731,548 of 2,504,868 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #277,627 of 2,504,868 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes