Communitarianism and the Ethics of Communicable Disease: Some Preliminary Thoughts

Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 39 (4):678-689 (2011)
Communicable diseases, especially those that are highly contagious, are on the rise and each of us, no matter who we are or where we live, is equally at risk of transmitting contagious diseases to others as we are of contracting such diseases from others. Because contagious diseases are as readily passed state-to-state as person-to-person, we all have a stake in every country's ability to enact effective infectious disease control policies, while policies grounded in shared values are more likely to gain widespread acceptance and thereby prove most effective. This paper suggests that principlism proved invaluable as an ethical framework for resolving hard medical cases and setting health care policy because it nicely “fits” dilemmas that arise in the context of the special relationship between doctors and patients or within family units. It then argues that communitarianism provides the better foundation for crafting infectious diseases control policies because contagious diseases, which often pass between perfect strangers, raise questions about the moral obligations we owe to (or are entitled to demand of) people with whom we share no “special” relationship. Accordingly, a socially embedded framework such as communitarianism may be a better fit for the more socially embedded ethical dilemmas of communicable diseases
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1748-720X.2011.00635.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 32,607
External links

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
Individual Good and Common Good: A Communitarian Approach to Bioethics.Daniel Callahan - 2003 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 46 (4):496-507.
Principlism and Communitarianism.D. Callahan - 2003 - Journal of Medical Ethics 29 (5):287-291.

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Molecular Typing Technology: A Legal Perspective.T. Bubela & S. Yanow - 2012 - Public Health Ethics 5 (3):317-320.
The Factory Model of Disease.Neil Williams - 2007 - The Monist 90 (4):555-584.
The Mystery of the Mystery of Common Genetic Diseases.Sean A. Valles - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (2):183-201.
Dis-Ease About Kinds: Reply to D'Amico.Lawrie Reznek - 1995 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (5):571-584.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
19 ( #298,341 of 2,235,862 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #446,848 of 2,235,862 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature