Moral Right to Healthcare and COVID-19 Challenges

Asia-Pacific Social Science Review 22 (1):78-91 (2022)
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One fundamental healthcare issue brought to the fore by the current COVID-19 pandemic concerns the scope and nature of the right to healthcare. Given our increasing need for the usually limited healthcare resources, to what extent can we demand provision of these resources as a matter of right? One philosophical way of handling this issue is to clarify the nature of this right. Using the challenges of COVID-19 in the Philippines as the context of analysis, we argue for the view that regards the right to healthcare as fundamentally moral in kind, which should thereby guide its legal and contractual appropriations. In particular, we respond to objections against this view stemming from issues concerning the universality and satisfiability of the right’s correlative duty. We deal with such issues by invoking the relative degree of incumbency of moral rights and the capability-relativity of positive duties. We further contend that as these factors define the scope of the moral right to healthcare, they thus constrain what we can demand as a matter of right to meet our healthcare needs in this time of the pandemic.

Author Profiles

Mark Anthony Dacela
De La Salle University
Napoleon Mabaquiao
De La Salle University


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