Trade, foreign policy, diplomacy and health

Health ethics

Health ethics involves a process of systematic and continuous reflection on the norms and values which should guide decisions about health care at the personal, institutional, or societal level, and by which the outcomes of such decisions may be judged. Moral reasoning involves pursuing rules, principles, and theories. Moral rules state that actions of a certain kind ought (ought not) to be done because they are right (wrong). These rules are justified by basic and independent principles such as justice (fairness), respect for persons, beneficence, and parsimony (efficient use of resources). The principles reflect comprehensive ethical theories, such as Utilitarianism (in which the rightness of a choice depends on whether it maximizes the good) and Deontology (in which actions are judged according to their adherence to fundamental duties). Compared to medical ethics which focuses on individuals, health ethics also encompasses the full range of health determinants and their interconnections viewed from a societal or systems perspective.