Ruth Macklin
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Harris’s principle of justice in health care
in From reason to practice in bioethics
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This chapter discusses Harris’s principle of justice in health care. Harris contends that his view is an equal opportunity principle of justice representing "the patient’s conception of benefit," and is superior to the provider’s or funder’s conception of benefit." He argues that the latter position is "essentially a ‘public health’ conception," as it "sees the business of health care as maintaining and improving public health or the health of the community." This is a rather narrow construal of a public health conception; a more nuanced view can incorporate considerations of justice in a scheme for allocating scarce medical resources. The chapter discusses several competing principles of justice in addressing a situation of compelling need for policy makers in developing countries: setting priorities for choosing among HIV-infected individuals who are potential recipients of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) at a regional or national level in resource-poor countries ravaged by AIDS.

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From reason to practice in bioethics

An anthology dedicated to the works of John Harris


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