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Prevention vs. TreatmentWhat's the Right Balance?$
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Halley S. Faust and Paul T. Menzel

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199837373

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199837373.001.0001

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Treatment and Prevention

Treatment and Prevention

What Do We Owe Each Other?

8 Treatment and Prevention
Prevention vs. Treatment

Norman Daniels

Oxford University Press

Without focusing on the details of specific health systems, this chapter considers what we owe each other with regard to promoting and restoring health and what this means for the balance between prevention and treatment. I argue that we have robust obligations both with regard to prevention and treatment, though the specifics of what is owed depend on decisions about how to fit a reasonable array of such services within resource limits. Among our preventive obligations are interventions that provide incentives for adopting health regarding behaviors, though these are harder to justify on some accounts of justice than others. For example, luck egalitarianism provides no justification for such incentives, though a Rawlsian account does. The chapter concludes by considering whether the fact that risk is more concentrated in some people than others, say in identified victims rather than statistical ones, is morally relevant to giving them some priority. I claim that concentration of risk is morally relevant under some conditions and that this may favor identified over statistical victims to the extent that risk concentration is the relevant contrast between them.

Keywords:   concentration of risk, moral relevance, luck egalitarianism, prevention, treatment, identified victims, statistical victims, incentives

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