The introduction summarizes the theoretical foundations of the health capability paradigm and distinguishes it from prevailing frameworks, which represent clear deficiencies in thinking and action about health and health care. The theory is rooted in a particular view of the good life —— Aristotelian human flourishing —— that values health intrinsically. An overview presents other components of the health capability paradigm, including incompletely theorized agreements, shortfall inequality, the role of internalized public moral norms in collective choice, and a joint scientific and deliberative approach, with medical necessity and medical appropriateness informing decision-making in a shared health governance framework. Health agency —— the ability to engage with and navigate one's environment and the health care system to meet health needs —— is an integral part of the health capability paradigm.
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