Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 25-34

First online:

Levinas, justice and health care

  • P. NortvedtAffiliated withFaculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Institute of Nursing Science

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In this paper I argue that the metaphysical ethics of Emmanuel Levinas captures some essential moral intuitions that are central to health care. However, there is an ongoing discussion about the relevance of ethical metaphysics for normative ethics and in particular on the question of the relationship between justice and individualized care. In this paper I take part in this debate and I argue that Levinas' idea of an ethics of the Other that guides politics and justice can shed important light on issues that are central to priorities in health care. In fact, the ethics of Levinas in seeking the foundation of normativity itself, captures the ethical coreand central values of health care.

care ethical metaphysics justice Levinas the Other the Third