Is there a need for global health ethics? For and against

David Hunter, Angus Dawson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Introduction To provide an answer to the question of whether we need global health ethics we set ourselves three goals in this chapter. First, we explore a number of different ways that we might understand the term “global health ethics.” Second, we consider the arguments that could be used either to support or dismiss what we call “substantive accounts” of global health ethics. Finally, we make some suggestions in relation to what (if any) “global” obligations may bind us. Our discussions will use public health as an example throughout to illustrate our points. The reason for this focus is that, in our view, we ought to think of public health as providing systematic structural support for population health, with the key aim of fulfilling the basic requirements to protect health and prevent illness. This is not to suggest that other forms of health care are unimportant, just that public health will fulfill a primary role in any attempt to address questions of global justice in relation to existing health inequalities. Global health ethics is an important topic. We do not need to accept the view that health is of special consideration in a range of possible aims or outcomes, to accept that it is, nevertheless, a key constitutive part of how well our lives go (Daniels, 1985, 2007; Segall, 2007; Wilson, 2009). Health may not be the only or the primary good to be promoted, but it is important for both prudential and ethical reasons.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationGlobal health and global health ethics
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Electronic)9780511984792
    ISBN (Print)9780521146777
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


    Dive into the research topics of 'Is there a need for global health ethics? For and against'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this