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In this article, we argue that the scope of bioethical debate concerning justice in health should expand beyond the topic of access to health care and cover such issues as occupational hazards, safe housing, air pollution, water quality, food and drug safety, pest control, public health, childhood nutrition, disaster preparedness, literacy, and many other environmental factors that can cause differences in health. Since society does not have sufficient resources to address all of these environmental factors at one time, it is important to set priorities for bioethical theorizing and policy formation. Two considerations should be used to set these priorities: (1) the impact of the environmental factor on health inequality, and (2) the practicality of addressing the factor.
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Keywords: access to care; contractarianism; environment; health disparities; health inequalities; international justice; justice; utilitarianism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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