Inequities in health have got more and more attention, both in the national and global agendas. However, there are different opinions both regarding the definition of equity, and regarding which polices that are appropriate and justified to increase equity. Defenders’ of different stand-points usually try to find support in moral philosophy, i.e. theories which try to investigate how things “ought” to be arranged. This course introduces the theories which so far have been most influential in health care and public health – utilitarianism, Rawl’s theory of justice and feminism. The course investigates how these theories in moral philosophy have influenced scientific disciplines of importance for research about health care and public health. Further is the relationship between moral philosophy and political decisions investigated. What kind of ethical arguments are used when health care is making priorities?
After completion of the course the student should be able to: describe the main content in the theories under study; discuss examples illustrating how scientific theories and methods are connected to moral philosophy, analyze how political decisions about organization and financing health care and public health are inspired by moral philosophy.
Teaching is concentrated to two weeks during the course period. Teaching methods are mixed; lectures, seminars, group-discussions and home assignments. Seminars, group-discussions and home assignments are mandatory. The course is given in English.