Right Relation and Right Recognition in Public Health Ethics: Thinking Through the Republic of Health

Public Health Ethics 9 (2):168-177 (2016)
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Abstract

The further development of public health ethics will be assisted by a more direct engagement with political theory. In this way, the moral vocabulary of the liberal tradition should be supplemented—but not supplanted—by different conceptual and normative resources available from other traditions of political and social thought. This article discusses four lines of further development that the normative conceptual discourse of public health ethics might take. The relational turn. The implications for public health ethics of the new ‘ecological’ or ‘relational’ interpretation that is emerging for concepts such as agency, self-identity, autonomy, liberty and justice. Governing the health commons. The framework of collective action problems is giving way to notions of democratic governance and management of common resources. The concept of membership. Membership is specified by the notions of equal respect and parity of voice and agency. The concept of mutuality. Mutuality is specified by the notions of interdependent concern and care.

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