Three Strikes Out: Objections to Segall's Luck Egalitarian Justice in Health

Ethical Perspectives (forthcoming)
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Setting out to defend luck egalitarianism in matters of justice in health, Shlomi Segall outlines a pluralistic version of the luck egalitarian framework allowing egalitarian justice to be traded-off against other moral requirements. The suggested pluralism enables luck egalitarian justice to coexist with a concern for meeting everyone’s basic needs thereby avoiding Elizabeth Anderson’s ‘abandonment objection’. In this article, however, we present three objections to Segall’s luck egalitarian justice in health. Firstly, the account is vulnerable to the common objection that luck egalitarianism becomes too expansive, and that Segall’s defence against this is inadequate. Secondly, Segall’s pluralist attempt to balance luck egalitarian justice and other moral requirements ends up compromising its own ideal of justice. Due to the fact that resource scarcity is the reality of health and health care distribution, this problem would often arise in actual health policy. Finally, the account has a way of intensifying blameworthy behaviour which seems contrary to luck egalitarian principles. Based on these three objections, we conclude that Segall’s luck egalitarian account of justice in health must either be rejected or qualified further.



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Lasse Nielsen
Palacky University

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