The American Journal of Bioethics has just published a series of articles on the social determinants of health. The target article (Social determinants of health: why should we care?) is co-authored by Adina Preda and Kristin Voigt. One of the responses is co-authored by Dr Lorenzo Del Savio and Dr Matteo Mameli, both at King’s College London.
In their open peer commentary, Del Savio and Mameli argue that social health inequalities are morally important because they shed light on power hierarchies and their impact on some fundamental human interests. The moral discussion on health inequalities has been often conducted on the basis of considerations of fairness and responsibility. This is a very partial perspective.
The work of social epidemiologists can help us appreciate the significance of self-esteem and non-domination as human goods that are affected by hierarchical social arrangement.
Dr Lorenzo Del Savio is a visiting researcher at SSHM from Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein in Germany. You can follow Lorenzo on twitter: @lay_researcher and read more about his work on Citizen Participation in Biomedicine here. Dr Matteo Mameli is a Reader in the Department of Philosophy.
You can access the full OPC here: