Capabilities and incapabilities of the capabilities approach to health justice

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Abstract

This first part of this article critiques Sridhar Venkatapuram's conception of health as a capability. It argues that Venkatapuram relies on the problematic concept of dignity, implies that those who are unhealthy lack lives worthy of dignity (which seems politically incorrect), sets a low bar for health, appeals to metaphysically problematic thresholds, fails to draw clear connections between appealed-to capabilities and health, and downplays the importance/relevance of health functioning. It concludes by questioning whether justice entitlements should pertain to the capability for health versus health achievements, challenging Venkatapuram's claims about the strength of health entitlements, and demonstrating that the capabilities approach is unnecessary to address social determinants of health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-33
Number of pages9
JournalBioethics
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • Capabilities approach
  • Concept of disease
  • Global bioethics
  • Health entitlement
  • Social determinants of health

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