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Health of NewcomersImmigration, Health Policy, and the Case for Global Solidarity$
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Patricia Illingworth and Wendy E. Parmet

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780814789216

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814789216.001.0001

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Health as a Global Public Good

Health as a Global Public Good

(p.115) 6 Health as a Global Public Good
Health of Newcomers

Patricia Illingworth

Wendy E. Parmet

NYU Press

Contrary to the standard view that health is a private good, health should be viewed as a public good: its benefits are nonexcludable and nonrivalrous. Health should, in fact, be understood as a global public good, in light of globalization. Chapter 6 illustrates this analysis with reference to the global eradication of smallpox. Understanding health as a global public good, rather than as a private good, has implications for a nation’s moral obligations to newcomers and the health policy that its government crafts: one person’s health can adversely affect another’s health, and good health can benefit many. Given the public good dimensions of health, failure to help newcomers in need of care may not only be counterproductive because it puts the health of all at risk, it may also violate basic principles of fairness, reciprocity and justice.

Keywords:   global public good, globalization, health, private good, public good, smallpox

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