Kantian Harm Reduction

Health Care Analysis 28 (4):335-342 (2020)
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Abstract

The justification for harm reduction as an approach to drug use and addiction is seen by many to be consequentialist in form and it has been claimed that as a deontologist Kant would reject harm reduction. I argue this is wrong on both counts. A more nuanced understanding of harm reduction and Kant shows them compatible. Kant’s own remarks about intoxication reinforce this. Moreover, there is a Kantian argument that harm reduction is not only morally permissible but more consistent with the Kantian duty of respect for autonomy than mandatory abstinence approaches.

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Sarah Hoffman
University of Saskatchewan

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References found in this work

The metaphysics of morals.Immanuel Kant - 1797/1996 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mary J. Gregor.
Anthropology from a pragmatic point of view.Immanuel Kant - 2006 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Robert B. Louden.

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