Seeking Fair Treatment

Seeking Fair Treatment : From the AIDS Epidemic to National Health Care Reform

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The debates over the issues of health care reform and funding for AIDS research and treatment have thus far raged separately. There has been little discussion of whether health care reform would improve the lives of HIV patients, largely, many would say, because so many of those affected by HIV belong to groups that are traditionally discriminated against--gays, drug abusers, members of minority groups, and a rapidly growing number of women and children--tempting policymakers and the public alike to think in terms of "us" and "them." To continue to yield to this temptation would be a grave mistake, Norman Daniels argues in his new book Seeking Fair Treatment: From the AIDS Epidemic to National Health Care Reform. Expertly guiding readers through the complex maze of conflicting claims made by insurers, activists, and the medical community, he shows that AIDS activists' long fight for better treatment and access to care is not the fight of a desparate and isolated group, but a fight for exactly the things all of us need in our national health care system. Daniels maintains that since the early 1980s, HIV and AIDS patients have served as "canaries in the coalmine," exposing weaknesses in the health care system that affect many health care consumers, including cancer patients, the elderly, and those with a pre-existing or chronic condition. For example, HIV patients have frequently lost their health insurance coverage just when they needed it most, but so too have far too many cancer patients. HIV patients are increasingly locked in to jobs because they fear losing insurance if they change employment; so too are diabetics. With precision and insight, Daniels probes the issues of justice that underlie central controversies about how we should treat each other in the HIV epidemic, controversies that are intrinsically linked to the problems of designing a better national health care system. These include the duty of physicians to treat HIV patients; the conflicting rights of patients and infected health care workers; the insurability of those at high risk; the rights of patients to unproven drugs; the rationing of expensive treatments; and educating students about "safe sex" practices in our public schools. Seeking Fair Treatment makes a major contribution to the health care debate. Arguing passionately that access to health care is not merely a goal for a just society, it is a requirement, Norman Daniels provides an equitable and efficient framework for coming to terms with one of the great moral crises of our time.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 215 pages
  • 152.4 x 233.68 x 25.4mm | 430.91g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • tables
  • 0195057120
  • 9780195057126

About Norman Daniels

About the Author: Norman Daniels is Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University. He was a member of President Clinton's Health Care Task Force in 1993, and is the author of Am I My Parent's Keeper? and Just Health Care.show more

Review quote

"Daniels provides us with the tools for solving one of the greatest problems of our time--health care reform."--Choice"There is no doubt that AIDS has posed an enormous health hazard to the United States, but no less an enormous ethical hazard. Norman Daniels understands that exceedingly well, and he very deftly, clearly, and persuasively shows how the way we think about AIDS should be related directly to the way we think about the allocation of health care resources in this country. He has made a splendid, important, and moving contribution to the discussion."--Daniel Callahan, President, The Hastings Center"Norman Daniels, perhaps the leading theorist on justice and health care, turns his sharp intellect to the HIV epidemic. In Seeking Fair Treatment, Professor Daniels makes a singularly important contribution to unraveling the perplexing ethical dilemmas presented by AIDS. More important, he explores with rigor the defining issues of social justice and health in contemporary American society. With penetrating logic and human compassion, Professor Daniels probes the deep inequities and inefficiencies in the health care system." --Lawrence O. Gostin, Georgetown University/Johns Hopkins University Program on Law and Public Health"A provocative, informative philosophical treatise on the ethics of access to healthcare."--Library Journal"[An] important and eloquently argued book. Rather than view the ethical conflicts generated by AIDS as isolated, Daniels compellingly demonstrates that the debates surrounding the care of patients with AIDS reflect the characteristic inequities and inadequacies of out health care system. Dealing fairly and compassionately with AIDS points the way, according to Daniels, to a just health care system for all Americans.... This powerful and compelling vision of a just health care system helps us to understand the substantial failings of our current patchwork of a system, not only in addressing the AIDS epidemic, but also in fairly and humanely providing care to all Americans." --New England Journal of Medicineshow more

Table of contents

Introduction. 1: The Duty to Treat and Access to Care. 2: HIV-Infected Surgeons and Dentists: Public Threat or Public Sacrifice?. 3: AIDS and Insurability: Ethics Issues in Underwriting. 4: "Parallel Track" Use of Unproven Drugs. 5: Justice and access to high-technology home care. 6: "Morality," Prevention, and Sex Education. 7: Fairness and National Health Care Reforms. Notes. Referencesshow more

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