Public health is a field that aims to promote and protect the health of populations and communities. Ethics is a branch of philosophy that examines the moral values and principles that guide human actions. Equity is a concept of fairness and justice that recognizes the diversity and dignity of human beings. How are these three domains related, and what are the implications for public health practice and policy
A book edited by Sudhir Anand, Fabienne Peter, and Amartya Sen, titled Public Health, Ethics, and Equity, explores these questions from an interdisciplinary perspective. The book consists of 15 chapters written by distinguished scholars from various fields, such as philosophy, anthropology, economics, and public health. The book is divided into five parts, each focusing on a major theme: what is health equity; health equity and social justice; responsibilities for health; ethical issues in health evaluation; and anthropological perspectives on health equity.
The book builds on the idea that health equity is not only a matter of ensuring equal access to health care services, but also a matter of addressing the social determinants of health, such as poverty, education, gender, race, and environment. The book argues that health equity is a normative goal that requires ethical justification and political action. The book also examines the challenges and dilemmas that arise in measuring and evaluating health equity, as well as the cultural and contextual factors that shape people's perceptions and experiences of health equity.
The book is a valuable contribution to the literature on public health ethics and equity. It provides a comprehensive and nuanced analysis of the theoretical and practical issues involved in promoting health equity. It also offers insights and recommendations for public health practitioners and policymakers who seek to improve the health and well-being of all people. The book is suitable for academic researchers, students, and professionals who are interested in learning more about the ethical dimensions of public health.
The first part of the book addresses the question of what health equity means and how it can be conceptualized. The authors discuss different approaches to defining and measuring health equity, such as the capability approach, the fair equality of opportunity principle, and the social determinants of health framework. They also examine the relationship between health equity and other values, such as efficiency, liberty, and human rights.
The second part of the book explores the link between health equity and social justice. The authors argue that health equity is not only a matter of distributive justice, but also a matter of procedural justice and recognition. They analyze how social institutions and policies can affect health equity, such as democracy, law, education, and trade. They also propose some normative criteria for evaluating and designing health policies that promote health equity.
The third part of the book focuses on the question of who has responsibilities for health and how they can be allocated. The authors discuss different sources and levels of responsibility for health, such as individual, collective, national, and global. They also address some challenges and controversies that arise in assigning responsibilities for health, such as free will, moral luck, collective action problems, and global justice. ec8f644aee