Ethics, equity and social determinants of health

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Abstract

The evidence shown by studies on the social determinants of health has changed the relationship between ethics and medicine. The evidence shown by studies on the social determinants of health has changed the relationship between ethics and medicine, and between a normative and a descriptive approach. Studies on the social determinants of health have also modified the traditional concept of equity, necessary health policies and the future of bioethics. More specifically: 1) the boundary between medicine and ethics has become much fuzzier, especially in the field of epidemiology, whose objectives are now inseparable from ethical considerations; 2) the concept of health equity traditionally defined as access to healthcare should be corrected or expanded to incorporate unfair health inequalities that occur before patients reach the healthcare system; and 3) the traditional autonomy bias of bioethics should be replaced by a primary concern for social justice and its relationship with health. © 2011 SESPAS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-181
JournalGaceta Sanitaria
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012

Keywords

  • Epidemiology
  • Health equity
  • Health inequalities
  • Philosophy
  • Public health ethics
  • Social determinants of health
  • Social justice

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