Feiring’s concept of forward–looking responsibility: a dead end for responsibility in healthcare

Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (2):161-164 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Eli Feiring has developed a concept of forward-looking responsibility in healthcare. On this account, what matters morally in the allocation of scarce healthcare resources is not people's past behaviours but rather their commitment to take on lifestyles that will increase the benefit acquired from received treatment. According to Feiring, this is to be preferred over the backward-looking concept of responsibility often associated with luck egalitarianism. The article critically scrutinises Feiring's position. It begins by spelling out the wider implications of Feiring's view. Against this background, it shows that (i) Feiring's distinction between backward-looking and forward-looking responsibility is incompatible with the Scanlonian notion of responsibility she apparently endorses; (ii) her favoured forward-looking notion of responsibility is subject to the objections levelled against the luck egalitarian view (whatever the strength of such objections).



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,569

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Just Health Responsibility.H. Schmidt - 2009 - Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (1):21-26.
Risk and Responsibility: A Complex and Evolving Relationship.Céline Kermisch - 2012 - Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (1):91-102.
Lifestyle, Responsibility and Justice.E. Feiring - 2008 - Journal of Medical Ethics 34 (1):33-36.
The Concept of Responsibility: Dilemma and Necessity.Wolfgang Schoberth - 2009 - Studies in Christian Ethics 22 (4):423-441.
Moral Responsibility for Environmental Problems—Individual or Institutional?Jessica Nihlén Fahlquist - 2009 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 22 (2):109-124.
Responsibility and Obligation: Some Kantian Directions.Suzanne M. Uniacke - 2005 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 13 (4):461 – 475.
Informatics and Professional Responsibility.Donald Gotterbarn - 2001 - Science and Engineering Ethics 7 (2):221-230.


Added to PP

40 (#289,668)

6 months
2 (#278,199)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Andreas Albertsen
Aarhus University