David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Public Health Ethics 5 (2):140-153 (2012)
There are several strategies to promote health in individuals and populations. Two general approaches to health promotion are behavior change and empowerment. The aim of this article is to present those two kinds of strategies, and show that the behavior-change approach has some moral problems, problems that the empowerment approach (on the whole) is better at handling. Two distinct ‘ideal types’ of these practices are presented and scrutinized. Behavior change interventions use various kinds of theories to target people’s behavior, which they do through information, persuasion, coercion and manipulation. Empowerment is a collaborative method where those ‘facilitated’ participate in the change process. Some ethical problems with the behavior-change model are that it does not sufficiently respect the right to autonomy of the individuals involved and risks reducing their ability for autonomy, and that it risks increasing health inequalities. Empowerment, on the other hand, respects the participant’s right to autonomy, tends to increase the ability for autonomy, as well as increasing other coping skills, and is likely to reduce inequalities. A drawback with this approach is that it often takes longer to realize
|Keywords||Autonomy Behavior change Empowerment Goals Health promotion ethics Public health ethics Quality of life|
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Citations of this work BETA
P. -A. Tengland (2012). Behavior Change or Empowerment: On the Ethics of Health-Promotion Strategies. [REVIEW] Public Health Ethics 5 (2):140-153.
J. Loss, V. Lindacher & J. Curbach (2014). Do Social Networking Sites Enhance the Attractiveness of Risky Health Behavior? Impression Management in Adolescents' Communication on Facebook and its Ethical Implications. Public Health Ethics 7 (1):5-16.
Thomas Hove (2014). Ethical Influence in Health Promotion: Some Blind Spots in the Liberal Approach. Public Health Ethics 7 (2):134-143.
Per-Anders Tengland (2015). Does Amphetamine Enhance Your Health? On the Distinction Between Health and “Health-Like” Enhancements. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 40 (5):484-510.
J. Owens & A. Cribb (2013). Beyond Choice and Individualism: Understanding Autonomy for Public Health Ethics. Public Health Ethics 6 (3):262-271.
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