Developing World Bioethics 19 (3):169-179 (2019)

Authors
Yusuf Yuksekdag
Istanbul Bilgi University
Abstract
Compulsory (health) service contracts have recently received considerable attention in the normative literature. The service contracts are considered and offered as a permissible and liberal alternative to emigration restrictions if individuals relinquish their right to exit via contract in exchange for the state‐funded tertiary education. To that end, the recent normative literature on the service programmes has particularly focused on discussing the circumstances or conditions in which the contracts should be signed, so that they are morally binding on the part of the skilled workers. However, little attention is devoted to the relevance of the right to exit for the debate on compulsory service programmes. In this paper, I argue that even if the service contracts are voluntary, and thus the would‐be medical students voluntarily relinquish their right to exit, the reasons behind the right should be taken into account for the contracts to be morally valid. A clear understanding of the right to exit is a must in order not to breach its basic components and for the service contracts to be morally binding. To that end, I provide two accounts of the reasons to value the right to exit by presenting Patti Lenard's discussion of the right to exit and by reconstructing James Griffin's account of human rights. I conclude by offering brief ethical considerations for compulsory health service programmes grounded in the reasons to value the right to exit.
Keywords compulsory service  contract  ethics  health workers  migration  right to exit
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DOI 10.1111/dewb.12217
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