David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Medical Ethics 32 (1):3-6 (2006)
It is argued in this paper that the latest UK government white paper on public health, Choosing Health, is vulnerable to a charge of paternalism. For some years libertarians have levelled this charge at public health policies. The white paper tries to avoid it by constant reference to informed choice and choice related terms. The implication is that the government aims only to inform the public of health issues; how they respond is up to them. It is argued here, however, that underlying the notion of informed choice is a Kantian, ‘‘inner citadel’’ view of autonomy. According to this view, each of us acts autonomously only when we act in accord with reason. On such a view it is possible to justify coercing, cajoling, and conning people on the basis that their current behaviour is not autonomous because it is subject to forces that cause irrational choice, such as addiction. ‘‘Informed choice’’ in this sense is compatible with paternalism. This paternalism can be seen in public health policies such as deceptive advertising and the treatment of ‘‘bad habits’’ as addictions. Libertarians are bound to object to this. In the concluding section, however, it is suggested that public health can, nonetheless, find ethical succour from alternative approaches.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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.
Citations of this work BETA
Stephen Pattison & Iona Heath (2010). On the Irreducible Individuality of the Person and the Fullness of Life: Simon Gray's Smoking Diaries. [REVIEW] Health Care Analysis 18 (3):310-321.
Similar books and articles
Benjamin Hale & Lauren Hale (2009). Choosing to Sleep. In Angus Dawson (ed.), The Philosophy of Public Health. Ashgate
Stephen Holland (2009). Public Health Paternalism—a Response to Nys. Public Health Ethics 2 (3):285-293.
J. Wilson (2011). Why It's Time to Stop Worrying About Paternalism in Health Policy. Public Health Ethics 4 (3):269-279.
J. -F. Menard (2010). A 'Nudge' for Public Health Ethics: Libertarian Paternalism as a Framework for Ethical Analysis of Public Health Interventions? Public Health Ethics 3 (3):229-238.
Jonny Anomaly (2011). Public Health and Public Goods. Public Health Ethics 4 (3):251-259.
Angus Dawson (2005). Risk Perceptions and Ethical Public Health Policy: MMR Vaccination in the UK. Poiesis and Praxis 3 (4):229-241.
Jonny Anomaly (2012). Is Obesity a Public Health Problem? Public Health Ethics 5 (3):216-221.
Stephen John (2009). Why 'Health' is Not a Central Category for Public Health Policy. Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (2):129-143.
Thomas Nys (2009). Public Health Paternalism: Continuing the Dialogue. Public Health Ethics 2 (3):294-298.
A. Vilhelmsson, T. Svensson & A. Meeuwisse (2011). Mental Ill Health, Public Health and Medicalization. Public Health Ethics 4 (3):207-217.
C. A. Womack (2012). Public Health and Obesity: When a Pound of Prevention Really Is Worth an Ounce of Cure. Public Health Ethics 5 (3):222-228.
Ross Upshur (2013). What Does Public Health Ethics Tell (Or Not Tell) Us About Intervening in Non-Communicable Diseases? Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 10 (1):19-28.
Thomas R. V. Nys (2008). Paternalism in Public Health Care. Public Health Ethics 1 (1):64-72.
Christian Munthe (2008). The Goals of Public Health: An Integrated, Multidimensional Model. Public Health Ethics 1 (1):39-52.
Chan Ho-mun (1999). Free Choice, Equity, and Care: The Moral Foundations of Health Care. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 24 (6):624 – 637.
Added to index2010-08-24
Total downloads7 ( #304,000 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?