Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Henk ten Have


  • Stéphane BauzonEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-05544-2_106-1


Commodification is a challenge that deals not only with the payment for health care but also with the price of the human body. Commodification is somewhat a new concern in bioethics since money and markets have been traditionally ruled out of medicine in order to favor an extra-patrimonial approach to healing the ill. In the last 60 years, the amazing surge of medical technologies has further forged the relationship of health care with money, contributing to an ever-growing market of medical insurance. The need for new goods (mainly biotechnologies and insurance) in health care has clearly begun its commodification. The current commodification of health care is described as a social involution based on individual egoism and is deplored for its lack of social solidarity. Certainly, the market is an unequal factor for welfare distribution – the amount of money we hold is never the same among us nor even the same as time goes by. The commodification of medical care is backed by a neo-utilitarian/libertarian ethics that considers any issue to be seen not only as an individual situation but as a possibility to help all people live better, thanks to the market.


Price Body Dignity Freedom Allocation of health resources Justice Market 
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Further Readings

  1. D’Agostino, F. (2011). Bioetica e biopolitica. Giappichelli: Turino.Google Scholar
  2. Dickenson, D. (2013). Me medicine vs we medicine. Reclaiming biotechnology for the common good. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department STF/ macro area School of LawUniversity of Rome Tor VergataRomeItaly