Health Care as a Community Good: Implications for Health Policy and Justice Theory

Charlene Galarneau, Ph.D.

Lunchtime Seminar April 7, 2016 (28:54 min.)

To say that health care is a community benefit and not simply an individual or national benefit, is to acknowledge that communities are critical moral actors in determining just and fair health care, argues Charlene Galarneau, Ph.D., in her forthcoming book, Communities of Health Care Justice (Rutgers University Press, 2016). Communities – for example, communities of color, of women, queer communities, local communities, and professional communities – are involved in the social production of health, illness, and health/sick care. Achieving community justice in health care means respecting multiple and diverse understandings of health and health care within the context of inclusivity, whole person care, and effective voice. Notably, expressions of community justice, though fragile, do exist in current U.S. health policy.

Charlene A. Galarneau, Ph.D. is a member of the WCW Council of Advisors and Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Wellesley College, where she has taught since 2005. Galarneau teaches courses in feminist bioethics, gender justice and health policy, women and health, global health, and U.S. public health. Her research focuses on the ethics of health and health care, and in particular, theories of justice related to gender, race, class, and other social structures.

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