UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE AND ENFORCED BENEFICENCE

  • Christoph Hanisch Ohio University (Department of Philosophy).

Abstract

I examine Allen Buchanan’s arguments for enforced beneficence and
express a number of worries concerning his attempt to justify coercive distributive
policies that guarantee (basic) health care services for all citizens. The central
objection questions whether, given Buchanan’s own stipulation of universallyinstantiated
attitudes of moral beneficence amongst all society members, his
arguments from, first, the coordination problem and, second, the assurance
problem successfully establish a justification of enforced contribution. I defend
alternative, non-coercive, responses to the aforementioned problems and show that
a particular kind of institution (an “information service”) provides all citizens with
the sufficient and reliable epistemic resources so that they can effectively help the
sick and needy. I notice that Buchanan’s difficulties with justifying coercion can be
regarded as providing indirect support for the view that developing a justice-based
conception of moral health care rights remains, pace Buchanan, an important task
to be completed.

Published
2019-05-03