Faculty of Arts


Ethics and Health Policy

Please note: this is archived course information from 2020 for POLITICS 741.


Political theorists think about rights, justice and the good life. Governments everywhere struggle with ethical problems in health. Public policy is all the better for being informed by political theory, and political theory is all the better for thinking about what ought to happen in the real world.

One focus is scarcity: how should resources be allocated in a government health system? We consider organs for transplant, expensive treatments, age discrimination and holding people responsible for their own health. Another focus is public health; we consider coercion to control the spread of contagious disease, and how the government should try to reduce "lifestyle" diseases attributed to, for example, obesity.

This is an applied political theory paper and it would suit politics students of political theory and public policy, and non-politics students interested in health policy, population health and applied ethics.


Coursework only

View the course syllabus

Availability 2020

Semester 2


Coordinator(s) Professor Martin Wilkinson


POLITICS 741: 15.0 points

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