Public Health Ethics 13 (3):225-233 (2020)

Pierce Randall
United States Naval Academy
Justin Bernstein
Florida Atlantic University
Public health ethicists face two difficult questions. First, what makes something a matter of public health? While protecting citizens from outbreaks of communicable diseases is clearly a matter of public health, is the same true of policies that aim to reduce obesity, gun violence or political corruption? Second, what should the scope of the government’s authority be in promoting public health? May government enact public health policies some citizens reasonably object to or policies that are paternalistic? Recently, some theorists have attempted to address these questions by arguing that something is a matter of public health if and only if it involves a health-related public good, such as clean water or herd immunity. Relatedly, they have argued that appeals to the promotion of public health should only be used to justify the provision of health-related public goods. This public goods conception of public health is meant to enjoy advantages over its rivals in three respects: it provides a better definition of public health than rival views, it respects moral disagreement, and it avoids licensing objectionably paternalistic public health policies. We argue, however, that the PGC does just as poorly, or worse, than its rivals in all three respects.
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DOI 10.1093/phe/phaa021
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References found in this work BETA

Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Liberalism Without Perfection.Jonathan Quong - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Philosophy 63 (243):119-122.
Paternalism.Gerald Dworkin - 1972 - The Monist 56 (1):64-84.

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What is Public Health?Jonathan Anomaly - 2021 - Public Choice 188.

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