Public Health Ethics (forthcoming)

Due to the alarming rise of antibiotic resistance, medically unwarranted use of antibiotics has assumed new moral significance. In this paper, a thematic content analysis of focus group discussions was conducted to explore lay people’s views on the moral challenges posed by antibiotic resistance. The most important finding is that lay people are morally sensitive to the problems entailed by antibiotic resistance. Participants saw the decreasing availability of effective antibiotics as a problem of justice. This involves individual as well as collective moral responsibility. Yet, holding agents responsible for their use of antibiotics involves varying degrees of demandingness. In our discussion, these findings are related to the contemporary ethical debate on antibiotic resistance and two proposals for the preservation of antibiotic effectiveness are compared to and evaluated against participants’ views.
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DOI 10.1093/phe/phaa033
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Culpable Ignorance.Holly Smith - 1983 - Philosophical Review 92 (4):543-571.

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Ethics, Science, and Antimicrobial Resistance.Bernard Rollin - 2001 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 14 (1):29-37.


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