Promoting Healthy Behavior
How Much Freedom? Whose Responsibility?
The contributors raise profound questions about the role of the state or employers in trying to change health-related behavior, about the actual health and economic benefits of even trying, and about the freedom and responsibility of those of us who, as citizens, will be the target of such efforts. They ask, for instance, whether we are all equally free to live healthy lives or whether social and economic conditions make a difference. Do disease prevention programs actually save money, as is commonly argued? What is the moral legitimacy of using economic and other incentives to change people's behavior, especially when (as with HMOs) the goal is to control costs?
One key issue explored throughout the book is the fundamental ambivalence of traditionally libertarian Americans about health promotion programs: we like the idea of good health, but we do not want government or others posing threats to our personal lifestyle choices. The contributors argue that such programs will continue to prove less than wholly successful without a fuller examination of their place in our national values.
About the Author
"Insightful . . . provide[s] fascinating analyses....A must-read for all involved with health promotion and disease prevention programs and concerned about their social and ethical implications."—Choice
"A scintillating collection of essays"—Revue Canadienne de Sante Publique
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