Announcements Talk on ‘How Pharma Companies Fudge Data’ on 23rd September 2019 in Mumbai   |   ESIC Medical College and PGIMSR, Chennai present Wissendurst’19 on 20 September 2019 with networking partner Forum for Medical Ethics Society and FMES’s Institute of Health Sciences   |   Citizenship, Governance and Accountability in Health – Join the COPASAH Conclave of Global Health Accountability and Human Rights Advocates: October 15-18, 2019 New Delhi, India   |   Open Letter: Stop the war on Syria’s hospitals

Power, pollution, and ethics

James Dwyer, Vishvaja Sambath

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.209.045


Abstract

Environmental problems are more urgent and serious than ever: climate change, air pollution, water pollution, shortages of freshwater, deforestation, over-fishing, antibiotic resistance, and more. Discussions in public health address these problems because they affect people’s health and life prospects so profoundly. In this work, we add to the discussion by exploring the ethical aspects of a case scenario that involves pollution from a coal-fired power plant. After we note how the plant contributes to pollution, we discuss ethical issues of justice and responsibility. We show how the burdens of pollution and the benefits of the activities that generate pollution are unfairly distributed in this case. We also suggest that social justice demands certain forms of respect, consideration, and participation. Then we turn to issues of responsibility. We focus on responsibilities citizens have to try to change the social structures, background conditions, economic systems, and accepted practices that underlie the problem. We also consider responsibilities that physicians have, both collectively and individually. Taking responsibility for pollution is not a matter of following a medical protocol or legal requirement. It involves creativity, judgement, and a sense of what the situation calls for.

Full Text

HTML PDF

Keywords

N/A

Refbacks

There are currently no refbacks.

Article Views

PDF Downloads

Click here to support US