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Setting Health-Care Priorities – What Ethical Theories Tell Us - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Setting Health-Care Priorities: What Ethical Theories Tell Us

Torbjörn Tännsjö


The three most promising theories of distributive ethics are presented: Utilitarianism, with or without a prioritarian amendment. The maximin/leximin theory. Egalitarianism. Utilitarianism urges us to maximize the sum-total of happiness. When prioritarianism is added to utilitarianism we are instead urged to maximize a weighted sum of happiness, where happiness weighs less the happier you are and unhappiness weighs more the more miserable you are. The maximin/leximin theory urges us to give absolute priority to those who are worst off. Egalitarianism gives us two goals: to maximize happiness b ... More

Keywords: justice, mental health, life extension, convergence, futility

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190946883
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190946883.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Torbjörn Tännsjö, author
Claeson Professor of Practical Philosophy, Stockholm University

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