Journal Article

A ‘Nudge’ for Public Health Ethics: Libertarian Paternalism as a Framework for Ethical Analysis of Public Health Interventions?

Jean-Frédérick Ménard

in Public Health Ethics

Volume 3, issue 3, pages 229-238
Published in print November 2010 | ISSN: 1754-9973
Published online October 2010 | e-ISSN: 1754-9981 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/phe/phq024
A ‘Nudge’ for Public Health Ethics: Libertarian Paternalism as a Framework for Ethical Analysis of Public Health Interventions?

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of Biology
  • Bioethics and Medical Ethics
  • Medical Ethics
  • Public Health

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Is it possible to interfere with individual decision-making while preserving freedom of choice? The purpose of this article is to assess whether ‘libertarian paternalism’, a set of political and ethical principles derived from the observations of behavioural sciences, can form the basis of a viable framework for the ethical analysis of public health interventions. First, the article situates libertarian libertarianism within the broader context of the law and economics movement. The main tenets of the approach are then presented and particular attention is given to its operationalization through the notion of a ‘nudge’. Essentially, a ‘nudge’ consists in an intervention, which aims to suggest one choice over another by gently steering individual choices in welfare-enhancing directions yet without imposing any significant limit on available choices. Finally, the article concludes that, while it fails as an overreaching framework of ethical analysis, libertarian paternalism nonetheless constitutes a valuable addition to the conceptual toolbox of public health ethics.

Journal Article.  6096 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Philosophy of Biology ; Bioethics and Medical Ethics ; Medical Ethics ; Public Health

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.