•  34
    Public Health, Public Goods, and Market Failure
    Public Health Ethics 12 (3): 287-292. 2019.
    This discussion revises and extends Jonny Anomaly's ‘public goods’ account of public health ethics in light of recent criticism from Richard Dees. Public goods are goods that are both non-rival and non-excludable. What is significant about such goods is that they are not always provided efficiently by the market. Indeed, the state can sometimes realize efficiency gains either by supplying such goods directly or by compelling private purchase. But public goods are not the only goods that the mark…Read more
  •  11
    A private, for-profit company has recently opened a pair of plasma donation centres in Canada, at which donors can be compensated up to $50 for their plasma. This has sparked a nation-wide debate around the ethics of paying plasma donors. Our aim in this paper is to shift the terms of the current debate away from the question of whether plasma donors should be paid and toward the question of who should be paying them. We consider arguments against paying plasma donors grounded in concerns about …Read more
  •  1
    Insurance and Equality Revisited
    Public Affairs Quarterly 32 (3): 205-225. 2018.
    Theorists of the welfare state increasingly recognize that social insurance programs are not well-justified by distributive egalitarianism—meaning concern for equality considered as a pattern in the distribution of some good. However, recent work by several relational egalitarian theorists suggests that these programs may be justified on relational egalitarian grounds. Relational egalitarians hold that the proper object of egalitarian concern is the way that citizens relate to one another. In th…Read more
  •  79
    What Makes Health Care Special?: An Argument for Health Care Insurance
    Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 27 (4): 561-587. 2017.
    Citizens in wealthy liberal democracies are typically expected to see to basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter out of their own income, and those without the means to do so usually receive assistance in the form of cash transfers. Things are different with health care. Most liberal societies provide their citizens with health care or health care insurance in kind, either directly from the state or through private insurance companies that are regulated like public utilities. Except perhaps…Read more
  •  185
    Commodification, Inequality, and Kidney Markets
    Social Theory and Practice 44 (1): 121-143. 2018.
    People tend to be repulsed by the idea of cash markets in kidneys, but support the trading of kidneys through paired exchanges or chains. We reject anti-commodification accounts of this reaction and offer an egalitarian one. We argue that the morally significant difference between cash markets and kidney chains is that the former allow the wealthy greater access to kidneys, while the latter do not. The only problem with kidney chains is that they do not go far enough in addressing equality conce…Read more
  •  189
    Liberal Neutrality: Constructivist, not Foundationalist
    Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 4 (2): 151-158. 2009.
    In defending the principle of neutrality, liberals have often appealed to a more general moral principle that forbids coercing persons in the name of reasons those persons themselves cannot reasonably be expected to share. Yet liberals have struggled to articulate a non-arbitrary, non- dogmatic distinction between the reasons that persons can reasonably be expected to share and those they cannot. The reason for this, I argue, is that what it means to “share a reason” is itself obscure. In this p…Read more
  •  142
    Medical Need, Equality, and Uncertainty
    Bioethics 30 (8): 588-596. 2016.
    Many hold that distributing healthcare according to medical need is a requirement of equality. Most egalitarians believe, however, that people ought to be equal on the whole, by some overall measure of well-being or life-prospects; it would be a massive coincidence if distributing healthcare according to medical need turned out to be an effective way of promoting equality overall. I argue that distributing healthcare according to medical need is important for reducing individuals' uncertainty su…Read more