Minority Health Archive

The Moral Problem of Health Disparities

Jones, C. M. (2010) The Moral Problem of Health Disparities. American Journal of Public Health, 100 (S1). S47-S51. ISSN 0090-0036

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Health disparities exist along lines of race/ethnicity and socioeconomic class in US society. I argue that we should work to eliminate these health disparities because their existence is a moral wrong that needs to be addressed. Health disparities are morally wrong because they exemplify historical injustices. Contractarian ethics, Kantian ethics, and utilitarian ethics all provide theoretical justification for viewing health disparities as a moral wrong, as do several ethical principles of primary importance in bioethics. The moral consequences of health disparities are also troubling and further support the claim that these disparities are a moral wrong. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides additional support that health disparities are a moral wrong, as does an analogy with the generally accepted duty to provide equal access to education. In this article, I also consider and respond to 3 objections to my thesis.

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Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is available at the publisher’s Web site. Access to the full text is subject to the publisher’s access restrictions.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Health disparities, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic class, bioethics
Subjects: Health > Health Equity > Bioethics
Health > Disparities
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Depositing User: Users 141 not found.
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2011 18:01
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2011 18:01
Link to this item (URI): http://health-equity.lib.umd.edu/id/eprint/2627

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