Solidarity, justice and unconditional access to healthcare

Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (3):177-181 (2017)
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Abstract

Luck egalitarianism provides a reason to object to conditionality in health incentive programmes in some cases when conditionality undermines political values such as solidarity or inclusiveness. This is the case with incentive programmes that aim to restrict access to essential healthcare services. Such programmes undermine solidarity. Yet, most people's lives are objectively worse, in one respect, in non-solidary societies, because solidarity contributes both instrumentally and directly to individuals' well-being. Because solidarity is non-excludable, undermining it will deprive both the prudent and the imprudent citizens of its goods. Thereby, undermining solidarity can make prudent citizens worse off than they would have otherwise been, out of no fault or choice of their own, but rather as a result of somebody else's imprudent choice. This goes against the spirit of luck egalitarianism. Therefore (luck egalitarian) justice can require us to save the imprudent and avoid conditionality in access to essential healthcare services.

Author's Profile

Anca Gheaus
Central European University

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