The Symposium on “Setting Health-Care Priorities” by Torbjörn Tännsjö

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Piotr Grzegorz Nowak


The present paper constitutes an introduction to a special issue of Diametros devoted to Setting Health-Care Priorities. What Ethical Theories Tell Us by Torbjörn Tännsjö. The book in question states that there are three moral theories which have valid implications in the field of the distribution of medical resources in a healthcare system: utilitarianism (possibly conjoined with prioritarianism), the maximin/leximin view, and egalitarianism. A number of authors have contributed to this special issue with papers which challenge this thesis. Robert E. Goodin argues that, besides general moral theories, some local principles of justice might be valid. Quinn Hiroshi Gibson states that Tännsjö should have considered the Rawlsian view on justice in its contractualist reading. Jay A. Zameska argues that his “revised lexical sufficientarianism” constitutes a more reliable moral view than prioritarianism. Finally, Lasse Nielsen points out that there is more to say about distributive justice than consequentialist theories can grasp. Moreover, he puts forward an argument in defense of prioritarianism. The final article in this issue constitutes Tännsjö’s replies to his critics.


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Nowak, Piotr Grzegorz. 2021. “The Symposium on ‘Setting Health-Care Priorities’ by Torbjörn Tännsjö ”. Diametros 18 (68):1-8.
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