• McGill University
    Department of Philosophy
    Institute for Health and Social Policy
    Assistant Professor
Oxford University
Faculty of Philosophy
DPhil, 2008
Montréal, Quebec, Canada
Areas of Specialization
  •  5
    Equality, health, and health policy: Introduction
    Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 13 (3): 31-37. 2018.
    Kristin Voigt
  •  17
    Appeals to Individual Responsibility for Health
    Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 22 (2): 146-158. 2013.
  •  65
    The Social Determinants of Health: Why Should We Care?
    American Journal of Bioethics 15 (3): 25-36. 2015.
    A growing body of empirical research examines the effects of the so-called “social determinants of health” on health and health inequalities. Several high-profile publications have issued policy recommendations to reduce health inequalities based on a specific interpretation of this empirical research as well as a set of normative assumptions. This article questions the framework defined by these assumptions by focusing on two issues: first, the normative judgments about the fairness of particul…Read more
  •  27
    Relational Equality and the Expressive Dimension of State Action
    Social Theory and Practice 44 (3): 437-467. 2018.
    Expressive theories of state action seek to identify and assess the ‘meaning’ implicit in state action, such as legislation and public policies. In expressive theories developed by relational egalitarians, state action must ‘express’ equal concern and respect for citizens. However, it is unclear how precisely we can determine and assess the meaning of what states do. This paper considers how an expressive theory could be developed, given the commitments of a relational account of equality, and h…Read more
  •  40
    The case for banning cigarettes
    Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (5): 293-301. 2016.
    Lifelong smokers lose on average a decade of life vis-à-vis non-smokers. Globally, tobacco causes about 5–6 million deaths annually. One billion tobacco-related deaths are predicted for the 21st century, with about half occurring before the age of 70. In this paper, we consider a complete ban on the sale of cigarettes and find that such a ban, if effective, would be justified. As with many policy decisions, the argument for such a ban requires a weighing of the pros and cons and how they impact …Read more
  •  42
    Testimonial Injustice and Speakers’ Duties
    Journal of Social Philosophy 48 (4): 402-420. 2017.
  •  37
    Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen, Luck Egalitarianism (review)
    Ethics 127 (4): 939-943. 2017.
  •  14
    The Global Burden of Disease project quantifies the impact of different health conditions by combining information about morbidity and premature mortality within a single metric, the Disability Adjusted Life Year. One important goal for the GBD project has been to inform decisions about global health priorities. A number of recent studies have used GBD data to argue that global health funding fails to align with the GBD. We argue that these studies’ shared assumption that global health resources…Read more
  •  31
    Social Justice, Equality and Primary Care: (How) Can ‘Big Data’ Help?
    Philosophy and Technology 32 (1): 57-68. 2019.
    A growing body of research emphasises the role of ‘social determinants of health’ in generating inequalities in health outcomes. How, if at all, should primary care providers respond? In this paper, I want to shed light on this issue by focusing on the role that ‘big data’ might play in allowing primary care providers to respond to the social determinants that affect individual patients’ health. The general idea has been proposed and endorsed by the Institute of Medicine, and the idea has been d…Read more
  •  16
    Rationing, inefficiency and the role of clinicians
    Journal of Medical Ethics 40 (2): 94-96. 2014.
    The need for rationing of clinical services and medical resources is a crucial issue facing healthcare systems. On most accounts, the demand for medical services vastly exceeds what can be provided on limited budgets, requiring difficult decisions about which services should and should not be provided to patients, whether patients might have to bear some of the cost of the services they use, and on what basis rationing decisions should be made. At the same time, we know that healthcare systems a…Read more
  •  209
    Risk, Harm and Intervention: the case of child obesity
    Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 17 (2): 191-200. 2014.
    In this paper we aim to demonstrate the enormous ethical complexity that is prevalent in child obesity cases. This complexity, we argue, favors a cautious approach. Against those perhaps inclined to blame neglectful parents, we argue that laying the blame for child obesity at the feet of parents is simplistic once the broader context is taken into account. We also show that parents not only enjoy important relational prerogatives worth defending, but that children, too, are beneficiaries of that…Read more
  •  24
    Individual choice and unequal participation in higher education
    Theory and Research in Education 5. 2007.
    Does the unequal participation of non-traditional students in higher education indicate social injustice, even if it can be traced back to individuals' choices? Drawing on luck egalitarian approaches,this article suggests that an answer to this question must take into account the effects of unequal brute luck on educational choices.I use a framework based on expected utility theory to analyse qualitative studies on educational choice.This reveals a variety of mechanisms through which differences…Read more
  •  96
    Smoking and Social Justice
    Public Health Ethics 3 (2): 91-106. 2010.
    Smoking is disproportionately common among the disadvantaged, both within many countries and globally; the burden associated with smoking is, therefore, borne to a great extent by the disadvantaged. In this paper, I argue that this should be regarded as a problem of social justice. Even though smokers do, in a sense, ‘choose’ to smoke, the extent to which these choices can legitimise the resulting inequalities is limited by the unequal circumstances in which they are made. An analysis of the emp…Read more
  •  36
    Carrots, sticks, and health care reform — problems with wellness incentives
    with Harald Schmidt and Daniel Wikler
    New England Journal of Medicine 362. 2010.
  •  218
    Paternalism and Equality
    In Thomas Schramme (ed.), New Perspectives on Paternalism and Health Care, Springer Verlag. 2015.
    Paternalistic interventions restrict individuals’ liberty or autonomy so as to guide their decisions towards options that are more beneficial for them than the ones they would choose in the absence of such interventions. Although some philosophers have emphasised that there is a case for justifiable paternalism in certain circumstances, much of contemporary moral and political philosophy works from a strong presumption against paternalistic interventions. However, Richard Arneson has argued that…Read more
  •  163
    The Harshness Objection: Is Luck Egalitarianism Too Harsh on the Victims of Option Luck?
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (4): 389-407. 2007.
    According to luck egalitarianism, inequalities are justified if and only if they arise from choices for which it is reasonable to hold agents responsible. This position has been criticised for its purported harshness in responding to the plight of individuals who, through their own choices, end up destitute. This paper aims to assess the Harshness Objection. I put forward a version of the objection that has been qualified to take into account some of the more subtle elements of the luck egalitar…Read more
  •  62
    In the article by Kristin Voigt in the April 2013 issue of Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, quotation marks around certain phrases were deleted.
  •  65
    Relational equality and health
    with Gry Wester
    Social Philosophy and Policy 31 (2): 204-229. 2015.
    Political philosophers have become increasingly interested in questions of justice as applied to health. Much of this literature works from a distributive understanding of justice. In the recent debate, however, ‘relational’ egalitarians have proposed a different way of conceptualising equality, which focuses on the quality of social relations among citizens and/or how social institutions ‘treat’ citizens. This paper explores some implications of a relational approach to health, with particular …Read more
  •  27
    Childhood Obesity: Ethical and Policy Issues
    with Stuart G. Nicholls and Garrath Williams
    Oxford University Press. 2014.
    Childhood obesity has become a central concern in many countries and a range of policies have been implemented or proposed to address it. This co-authored book is the first to focus on the ethical and policy questions raised by childhood obesity and its prevention. Throughout the book, the authors emphasize that childhood obesity is a multi-faceted phenomenon, and just one of many issues that parents, schools and societies face. They argue that it is important to acknowledge the resulting comple…Read more