Penn Bioethics Seminar Series: Brian Hutler, JD, PhD
12:00pm - 1:00pm • In-person: 1402 Blockley Hall, 423 Guardian Drive, 14th floor
Health Disparities and Indirect Discrimination: Two Puzzles, One Solution
Brian Hutler, JD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Temple University
In-person! Livestreaming also available.
Boxed lunches will be provided for in-person attendees.
Description: Health disparities, especially racial and ethnic health disparities, are often unjust. But what makes these health disparities unjust? Theorists often explain this injustice by pointing to some other injustice that causes the health disparities. But I will argue that these “causal” accounts of the injustice are incomplete and that we should look for an alternative account. Similarly, theorists struggle to explain the apparent “wrongness” of indirect discrimination in healthcare, e.g., when a hospital’s policies negatively impact protected groups but are not motivated by racism or other forms of animus. In this talk, I will argue that both of these theoretical puzzles admit of a single solution: Both the injustice of health disparities and the wrongness of indirect discrimination in healthcare can be explained by appeal to the right to health. According to the conception of the right to health that I will propose, both reflect failures on the part of relevant duty-bearers to fulfill the obligations they have to relevant rights-holders. I will argue, in conclusion, that the ability to resolve this pair of theoretical puzzles lends support to the conception of the right to health proposed here.
Professor Hutler is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Temple University. He works on political philosophy, bioethics, philosophy of law, and public health. Formerly, he was a Hecht-Levi Postdoctoral Fellow at the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University. He holds a J.D. and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the UCLA Law and Philosophy Program. His dissertation was supervised by Barbara Herman and Seana Shiffrin.
For more information, contact Mary Pham, Mary.Pham@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.