Social factors have a powerful influence on human health andlongevity. Yet the social dimensions of health are often obscuredin public discussions due to the overwhelming focus in healthpolicy on medical care, individual-level risk factor research, andchanging individual behaviours. Likewise, in philosophicalapproaches to health and social justice, the debates have largelyfocused on rationing problems in health care and on personalresponsibility. However, a range of events over the past twodecades such as the study of modern famines, the global experienceof HIV/AIDS, the international women's health movement, andthe flourishing of social epidemiological research have drawnattention to the robust relationship between health and broadsocial arrangements.
In Health Justice, Sridhar Venkatapuram takes up the problemof identifying what claims individuals have in regard to theirhealth in modern societies and the globalized world. Recognizingthe social bases of health and longevity, Venkatapuram extends the'Capabilities Approach' of Amartya Sen and MarthaNussbaum into the domain of health and health sciences. In sodoing, he formulates an inter-disciplinary argument that draws onthe natural and social sciences as well as debates around socialjustice to argue for every human being's moral entitlement toa capability to be healthy.
An ambitious integration of the health sciences and theCapabilities Approach, Health Justice aims to provide aconcrete ethical grounding for the human right to health, whileadvancing the field of health policy and placing health at thecentre of social justice theory.
With a foreword by Sir Michael Marmot, chair of the WHOCommission on the Social Determinants of Health.