Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Responsibility Ascriptions and Public Health Problems: Who is responsible for obesity and lung cancer?
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy.
2006 (English)In: Journal of Public Health, ISSN 2198-1833, E-ISSN 1613-2238, Vol. 14, no 1, 15-19 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Discussions about who is responsible for public health problems such as obesity and smoking-related diseases are often heated. A central question concerns the extent to which individuals are responsible for the consequences of their health-impairing behaviour and whether the State and the food and tobacco industries can justifiably be said to be responsible, too. The controversy may be partly due to the two aims of responsibility ascriptions: that they should be morally justified and that they should be efficient. The primary aim of this article is to achieve more clarity in the analysis of this issue. The method used in the article is conceptual analysis in the tradition of moral philosophy. There are two major perspectives on responsibility ascriptions. First, there is the merit-based idea that responsibility should be ascribed to someone who deserves to be held accountable, e.g. because he or she voluntarily and knowingly brought about his or her own health impairment. Second, there is the consequentialist view that responsibility should be ascribed in ways that have as good effects as possible. There are two values at stake here: responsibility ascriptions in public health should satisfy criteria of moral norms or fairness as well as of efficiency. It is argued that both perspectives should be taken into account in public health policymaking. It is concluded that it is important to be aware of the two views of responsibility ascriptions in public health discussions and the policy-making process and to aim at striking a balance between the two.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 14, no 1, 15-19 p.
Keyword [en]
Consequentialism, Ethics, Libertarianism, Responsibility
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8117DOI: 10.1007/s10389-005-0004-6Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-33645369951OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-8117DiVA: diva2:13351
Note
QC 20100831Available from: 2008-03-18 Created: 2008-03-18 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Moral responsibility and the ethics of traffic safety
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Moral responsibility and the ethics of traffic safety
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The general aim of this thesis is to present and analyse traffic safety from an ethical perspective and to explore some conceptual and normative aspects of moral responsibility. Paper I presents eight ethical problem areas that should be further analysed in relation to traffic safety. Paper II is focused on the question of who is responsible for traffic safety, taking the distribution of responsibility adopted through the Swedish policy called Vision Zero as its starting point. It is argued that a distinction should be made between backwardlooking and forward-looking responsibility and that Vision Zero should be understood in terms of this distinction. Paper III discusses responsibility ascriptions in relation to public health problems like obesity and lung cancer. It is argued that what makes discussions about who is responsible for such problems complicated is that we have two aims when ascribing responsibility to someone. First, we want responsibility ascriptions to be fair and morally justified. Second, we also want to achieve progress and solve problems through ascribing responsibility to someone. It is argued that the two aims influence debates concerning who is responsible for problems like obesity and lung cancer and that we should attempt at striking a balance that is both perceived as fair and that is efficient. Paper IV discusses two potential arguments against the suggestion that alcohol interlocks should be mandatory in all cars, namely 1) that it displaces the responsibility of individual drivers, and 2) that it constitutes a paternalistic interference with drivers. The first objection is found unconvincing, while the second only has limited bite and may be neutralized if paternalism is accepted for the sake of greater net liberty. It is argued that if technological development can make mandatory interlocks cost-efficient, the policy seems a commendable public health measure. In Paper V, the question discussed is to what extent individuals should be ascribed moral responsibility for the environmentally damaging consequences of their actions. It is argued that responsibility depends on the reasonableness of the alternatives open to an individual when acting. The lack of reasonable alternatives should reduce the degree of individual responsibility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2008. viii, 22 p.
Series
Theses in philosophy from the Royal Institute of Technology, ISSN 1650-8831
Keyword
moral responsibility, ethics, traffic safety, public health, environment
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4670 (URN)978-91-7178-815-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-04-03, Sal F3, KTH, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100831Available from: 2008-03-18 Created: 2008-03-18 Last updated: 2010-08-31Bibliographically approved
2. Moral responsibility in traffic safety and public health
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Moral responsibility in traffic safety and public health
2005 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2005. viii, 14 p.
Keyword
moral responsibility, responsibility ascriptions, traffic safety, public health, pateranlism, privacy, road traffic suicides
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-609 (URN)91-7178-226-5 (ISBN)
Note
QC 20101216Available from: 2006-02-07 Created: 2006-02-07 Last updated: 2010-12-16Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textScopus

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Nihlén Fahlquist, Jessica
By organisation
Philosophy
In the same journal
Journal of Public Health
Philosophy

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

doi
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
urn-nbn
Total: 111 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf