Opportunity and health care: Criticisms and suggestions

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 8 (4):339-361 (1983)
Norman Daniels' proposal to distribute health care on the basis of fair equality of opportunity is, in this writer's opinion, unworkable. His concepts of species-typical activity and normal opportunity range are unclear; so is the relationship between them. His view that justice accords disease a better claim on the health dollar than other causes of death, pain and disability, commits him unknowingly to the indefensible positions on particular sorts of health issues, such as the care of the aging and of pregnant women. Daniels' concept of opportunity is so inclusive, his notion of balancing opportunities so vague, that his theory loses systematic power. I offer a different account from Daniels' concerning why health care needs are objective and of special importance. I also argue for a voucher system which levels out class inequalities and which finances current medical practices more or less uncritically, but allows for change through a diversity of insurance plans available to consumers. This system is just, and more practical than rating health care needs by impact on opportunity. Keywords: justice, right to health care, equality, opportunity CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/8.4.339
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Shlomi Segall (2007). Is Health Care (Still) Special? Journal of Political Philosophy 15 (3):342–361.

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