+ Resolve Article
+ Follow Us
Follow on FacebookFollow on Facebook
Follow on TwitterFollow on Twitter

+ Translate
+ Subscribe to Site Feed
GeoScience Most Shared ContentMost Shared Content

The harm principle as a mid-level principle?: three problems from the context of infectious disease control

, : The harm principle as a mid-level principle?: three problems from the context of infectious disease control. Bioethics 25(8): 437-444

Effective infectious disease control may require states to restrict the liberty of individuals. Since preventing harm to others is almost universally accepted as a legitimate (prima facie) reason for restricting the liberty of individuals, it seems plausible to employ a mid-level harm principle in infectious disease control. Moral practices like infectious disease control support - or even require - a certain level of theory-modesty. However, employing a mid-level harm principle in infectious disease control faces at least three problems. First, it is unclear what we gain by attaining convergence on a specific formulation of the harm principle. Likely candidates for convergence, a harm principle aimed at preventing harmful conduct, supplemented by considerations of effectiveness and always choosing the least intrusive means still leave ample room for normative disagreement. Second, while mid-level principles are sometimes put forward in response to the problem of normative theories attaching different weight to moral principles, employing a mid-level harm principle completely leaves open how to determine what weight to attach to it in application. Third, there appears to be a trade-off between attaining convergence and finding a formulation of the harm principle that can justify liberty-restrictions in all situations of contagion, including interventions that are commonly allowed. These are not reasons to abandon mid-level theorizing altogether. But there is no reason to be too theory-modest in applied ethics. Morally justifying e.g. if a liberty-restriction in infectious disease control is proportional to the aim of harm-prevention, promptly requires moving beyond the mid-level harm principle.


PMID: 21929702

DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8519.2011.01926.x

Other references

Anonymous, 1985: Surgical spirit: an alcoholic hazard. The Veterinary Record 116: 3

McIntyre, R.S.; Soczynska, J.Z.; Woldeyohannes, H.O.; Alsuwaidan, M.T.; Cha, D.S.; Carvalho, Aé.F.; Jerrell, J.M.; Dale, R.M.; Gallaugher, L.A.; Muzina, D.J.; Kennedy, S.H., 2015: The impact of cognitive impairment on perceived workforce performance: results from the International Mood Disorders Collaborative Project. Cognitive dysfunction and depression severity are key mediators of workplace adjustment in adults with major depressive disorder (MDD). Herein, we sought to determine the extent to which measures of depression severity and cognitive dysfunction we...

Campbell, P.; Ma, S.; Schmalzried, T.; Amstutz, H.C., 1994: Tissue digestion for wear debris particle isolation. The creep behavior of a PEUU without added stabilizers was examined in H2O2/CoCl2, an environment that simulates the biodegradation of this polymer. Creep in the control environments, air, water, and H2O2, was logarithmic with time as is character...

Bosworth, H.B.; Olsen, M.K.; Oddone, E.Z., 2005: Improving blood pressure control by tailored feedback to patients and clinicians. American Heart Journal 149(5): 795-803

Akazawa, T.; Uritani, I., 1955: Phytopathological chemistry of black-rotten Sweet Potato. Part 20. The respiratory increase, phosphate and nitrogen metabolism in the rotten Sweet Potato.. In a further contribution to this series from Nagoya University, Japan, it is reported that protein formation in the spores of Ceratostomella fimbriata was inhibited by 50 per cent. by the addition of ipomeamarone (300 gamma). It is concluded that...

Rantakokko, P.; Nissinen, T.; Vartiainen, T., 1999: Determination of bromide ion in raw and drinking waters by capillary zone electrophoresis. A new capillary zone electrophoretic method was developed for the determination of bromide ion in raw and drinking waters. An NaCl-based low-pH buffer caused a reduction of electroosmotic flow (EOF) in the buffer zone, whereas injected water sampl...

Schleue-Warden, J., 1995: Do we still need the rules?. Director 3(1): 4-4

Facco, E.; Ermani, M.; Rampazzo, P.; Tikhonoff, Vérie.; Saladini, M.; Zanette, G.; Casiglia, E.; Spiegel, D., 2015: Top-down regulation of left temporal cortex by hypnotic amusia for rhythm: a pilot study on mismatch negativity. To evaluate the effect of hypnotically induced amusia for rhythm (a condition in which individuals are unable to recognize melodies or rhythms) on mismatch negativity (MMN), 5 highly (HH) and 5 poorly (LH) hypnotizable nonmusician volunteers under...

Cooley, M.A.; Harikrishnan, K.; Oppel, J.A.; Miler, S.F.; Barth, J.L.; Haycraft, C.J.; Reddy, S.V.; Scott Argraves, W., 2015: Fibulin-1 is required for bone formation and Bmp-2-mediated induction of Osterix. The extracellular matrix protein Fibulin-1 (Fbln1) has been shown to be involved in numerous processes including cardiovascular and lung development. Here we have examined the role of Fbln1 in bone formation. Alizarin red staining of skulls from F...

Anonymous, 2013: Dynamic Image-Based Modelling of Kidney Branching Morphogenesis. Kidney branching morphogenesis has been studied extensively, but themechanism that defines the branch points is still elusive. Here we obtained a2D movie of kidney branching morphogenesis in culture to test different modelsof branching morphogenes...