A Just Minimum of Health Care

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University Press of America, 1997 - Health & Fitness - 159 pages
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This book offers a comparative analysis of the Canadian and American health care systems, and it also explicates and criticizes both Norman Daniels' fair equality of opportunity argument for a right to health care and Allan Buchanon's enforced beneficence argument for a right to a decent minimum of health care. Cust advances an argument, based on David Gauthier's Morals by Agreement, that people have a right to a just minimum of health care. The significance of Cust's book is that the main argument is based on four important notions central to contemporary social, moral, and political theory: namely, the notions of liberty, equality, consent, and mutual advantage.
 

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Great book. Well written and insightful. Comprehensive notes and biography- a practice increasingly neglected today by many nonfiction writers.
I appreciated the attention paid to geographical
differences between the US and Canada, something that may seem trivial to some. Nonetheless, I think it deserves attention when addressing the subject.
Those who enjoy social justice theory would enjoy this book. Policy makers would do well to read it. Those who consider themselves to be practical actors may be turned away from the theoretical nature of the text but I think would appreciate the arguments advanced, especially the final chapter, "From Theory to Practice".
The book was published in 1997 therefore the statistical references are necessarily dated. I would be interested in reading an updated version with current statistics as it is an important issue in our current political and social culture.
Without an understanding of the philosophical argument people may think this approach cold and uncaring, but that simply isn't true. In fact, I would argue it is the exact opposite of that. The conclusion reached calls for action that is more the merely 'humane'. I think even the strongest supporter of total government funded health care, if they approach this book with an open mind, would see the logic and practicality of the argument laid out.
In all, I enjoyed reading the book and appreciated the elegance of the argument presented. I would recommend it to anyone interested in social philosophy or simply in social planning.
 

Contents

The Question of Justice in Health Care
1
Canada and the United States A Comparative Analysis
18
Fair Equality of Opportunity and Justice in Health Care
30
Enforced Beneficence and the Decent Minimum Project
53
The Foundation for a Just Minimum of Health Care
71
A Just Minimum of Health Care
85
From Theory to Practice
113
Notes
122
Bibliography
134
Index
157
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About the author (1997)

Kenneth F. T. Cust is Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the Department of English and Philosophy at Central Missouri Sate University.

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