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The Future of BioethicsInternational Dialogues$
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Akira Akabayashi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199682676

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682676.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 October 2021

Commentary

Commentary

What are Collective Values?

Chapter:
(p.543) 15.3 Commentary
Source:
The Future of Bioethics
Author(s):

Ryoji Sato

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682676.003.0072

In his paper, Dawson criticizes what he calls “the dominant approach” in public health ethics that heavily focuses on individual liberty and argues for “substantive health ethics” that incorporates other values such as public and common goods, common interests, and social values. The author argues in this commentary that there are two ways to understand those notions of “collective values,” which could produce two entirely different ways of coping with public health-related issues. Dawson seems to conceive collective values objectively, in the sense that those values can diverge from the ones people actually value. However, yet another interpretation would be that we can conceive collective values in terms of what people actually value. By adopting the latter point of view regarding “collective values,” some public health policies might not be admissible.

Keywords:   Public health ethics, substantive public health ethics, liberalism, social values

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