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.
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DOI 10.1515/mopp-2018-0057
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References found in this work BETA

Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Oxford University Press USA.
The Moral Demands of Affluence.Garrett Cullity - 2004 - Oxford University Press UK.
Coercion.Alan Wertheimer - 1990 - Princeton University Press.

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