Compulsory Health and Safety in a Free Society
Downie, Robin S.
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1984 Dec; 10(4): 186-190.
Boughton addresses the question of when a state such as the United Kingdom is justified in intervening in personal behavior that entails health risks. He discusses examples in the areas of road safety laws requiring the wearing of seatbelts or motorcycle helmets, occupational safety codes, fluoridation of water supplies, mandatory immunization programs, and regulations related to cigarette smoking, to sports, or to the food industry. Although there are sound economic reasons for the state to promote healthful behavior, Boughton believes that compulsion is justifiable only when the public health interest and not its economic interest is at stake. Downie comments on empirical and conceptual problems associated with the ideas of 'harm to others' and 'compulsion'. (KIE abstract)
Alcohol Abuse; Coercion; Economics; Education; Fluoridation; Food; Freedom; Government; Government Regulation; Harm; Health; Health Care; Health Education; Immunization; Incentives; Industry; Illness; Laws; Mandatory Programs; Medicine; Nutrition; Occupational Medicine; Paternalism; Public Health; Regulation; Self Induced Illness; Smoking; Sports; Sports Medicine;
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