Health Care Analysis

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 215–236 | Cite as

Solidarity: A (New) Ethic for Global Health Policy

  • Shawn H. E. Harmon
Original Article


This article explores solidarity as an ethical concept underpinning rules in the global health context. First, it considers the theoretical conceptualisation of the value and some specific duties it supports (ie: its expression in the broadest sense and its derivative action-guiding duties). Second, it considers the manifestation of solidarity in two international regulatory instruments. It concludes that, although solidarity is represented in these instruments, it is often incidental. This fact, their emphasis on other values and their internal weaknesses diminishes the action-guiding impact of the solidarity rules. The global health and human subject research scene needs a completely new instrument specifically directed at means by which solidarity can be achieved, and a reformed infrastructure dedicated to realising that value.


Solidarity Global health Human subject research Helsinki declaration CIOMS guidelines 



Special thanks to Dr. Graeme Laurie, Chair of Medical Jurisprudence, University of Edinburgh, and Co-Director of the AHRC Research Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property and Technology Law.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Law University of Edinburgh Old CollegeEdinburghUK

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