Personalism for Public Health Ethics
Annali dell'Istituto superiore di sanità 2010; 46(2): 204-9
In public health ethics, as in bioethics, utilitarian approaches usually prevail, followed by Kantian and communitarian foundations. If one considers the nature and core functions of public health, which are focused on a population perspective, utilitarianism seems still more applicable to public health ethics. Nevertheless, faulting additional protections towards the human person, utilitarianism doesn't offer appropriate solutions when conflicts among values do arise. Further criteria must be applied to protect the fundamental principles of respect for human life. Personalism offers similar advantages to utilitarianism but warrants more protection to the human person. We suggest a possible adaptation of personalism in the specific field of public health by means of four principles: absolute respect for life or principle of inviolability; subsidiarity and the "minimum" mandatory principle; solidarity; justice and non discrimination.
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Full Text from Publisher 10.4415/ANN_10_02_15
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