Re-Examining the Ethical Foundations: Behind the Distribution of Global Health

Garrett Wallace Brown

in Health Inequalities and Global Justice

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780748646920
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780748676682 | DOI:
Re-Examining the Ethical Foundations: Behind the Distribution of Global Health

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This chapter argues that current theorizing about global health rests on opposing ontological worldviews about what global health should prioritize and that these presuppositions result in distinctively antagonistic normative demands about how we should calculate the distribution of global health. In order to understand these existing antagonisms, this chapter will explore three diverse normative arguments (the proximity/statist thesis, lifeboat ethics and the cosmopolitan approach) regarding why we might have global health responsibilities and to further examine their relationship to distributive principles for the alleviation of global health inequalities. It is through this process of comparative investigation that the philosophical attractiveness of a cosmopolitan approach to global health will be stressed.

Keywords: Global health; Ethics of global health; Cosmopolitan approach to health; global health justice; global health responsibilities

Chapter.  6433 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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