Why do health inequalities matter?

Young Jeon Shin, Myoung Hee Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to introduce the concept of health inequalities, and to discuss the underlying assumptions and ethical backgrounds associated with the issue, as well as the theoretical and practical implications of health inequalities. Methods: Based on a review of the literature, we summarize the concepts of health inequalities and inequities and discuss the underlying assumptions and ethical backgrounds associated with these issues from the view of social justice theory. We then discuss the theoretical and practical implications of health inequalities. Results: Health inequality involves ethical considerations, such as judgments on fairness, and it could provide a sensitive barometer to reflect the fairness of social arrangements. Discussion on health inequalities could deepen our understanding of the social etiology of health and provide a basis for the development of comprehensive and integrative social policies. Conclusions: Health equity is not a social goal in and of itself, but should be considered as a part of a broader effort to seek social justice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-421
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007 Nov

Keywords

  • Ethical Theory
  • Health inequality
  • Social justice

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