Moral Philosophy and Politics 6 (1):65-87 (2019)

Alberto Giubilini
Università degli Studi di Milano (PhD)
Public health policies often require individuals to make personal sacrifices for the sake of protecting other individuals or the community at large. Such requirements can be more or less demanding for individuals. This paper examines the implications of demandingness for public health ethics and policy. It focuses on three possible public health policies that pose requirements that are differently demanding: vaccination policies, policy to contain antimicrobial resistance, and quarantine and isolation policies. Assuming the validity of the ‘demandingness objection’ in ethics, we argue that states should try to pose requirements that individuals would have an independent moral obligation to fulfil, and therefore that are not too demanding. In such cases, coercive measures are ethically justified, especially if the interventions also entail some benefits to the individuals; this is, for example, the case of vaccination policies. When public health policies need to require individuals to do something that is too demanding to constitute an independent moral obligation, states have an obligation to either provide incentives to give individuals non-moral reasons to fulfil a certain requirement – as in the case of policies that limit antibiotic prescriptions – or to compensate individuals for being forced to do something that is too demanding to constitute an independent moral obligation – as in the case of quarantine and isolation policies.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1515/mopp-2018-0057
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 50,241
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Paternalism and Populations.Tom Walker - 2016 - Public Health Ethics 9 (1):46-54.
Food and Beverage Policies and Public Health Ethics.David B. Resnik - 2015 - Health Care Analysis 23 (2):122-133.
Public Health and the Rights of States.A. Miklos - 2009 - Public Health Ethics 2 (2):158-170.
Liberalism and Public Health Ethics.Alex Rajczi - 2016 - Bioethics 30 (2):96-108.


Added to PP index

Total views
21 ( #461,711 of 2,325,150 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
12 ( #51,570 of 2,325,150 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes