SpeakersProfessor Udo Schuklenk, Queen's University, Ontario
Two Models in Global Health Ethics
Christopher Lowry, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong KongUdo Schuklenk, John Watson Hall, Queen’s University, CanadaThis paper examines two strategies aimed at demonstrating that moral obligations to improve global health exist. The ‘humanitarian model’ stresses that all human beings, regardless of affluence or global location, are fundamentally the same in terms of moral status. This model argues that affluent global citizens’ moral obligations to assist less fortunate ones follow from the desirability of reducing disease and suffering in the world. The ‘political model’ stresses that the lives of the world’s rich and poor are inextricably linked because of harmful state-to-state actions and because of the currently existing transnational institutions. These institutions’ design at once secures the high standard of living of the affluent and reinforces the continued foreseeable—and avoidable—deprivationof many of the global poor; and these give rise to compensatory health-related moral obligations beyond borders.This paper argues that political reasoning is unsuitable for the crucial task of determining priority in the receipt of health aid. We conclude that in the context of global health ethics, political reasoning must be supplemented with, if not replaced by, humanitarian reasoning.