Health and justice in our non-ideal world
In this article, I explore some advantages of viewing well-being in terms of an individual's health status. Principally, I argue that this perspective makes it easier to establish that rich countries at least have an obligation to transfer 1 percent of their GDP to poor countries. If properly targeted at the fundamental determinants of health in developing countries, this transfer would very plausibly yield a disproportionate ‘bang for the buck’ in terms of individual well-being. This helps to explain how the obligation can be both light enough in its burden on the rich to avoid being ‘too demanding’ and yet also bountiful enough in its effects to be worthy of the status of a ‘minimum obligation’. The advantages I enunciate are particularly relevant to establishing an obligation in the context of a non-ideal theory of international justice, which aims to set interim targets for practical action before an ideal theory has been settled. © 2007, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.
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