Luck Prioritarian Justice in Health

Shlomi Segall*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This chapter inquires after the just distribution of health proper (as distinct from health care), arguing against a Rawlsian approach and in favour of a luck egalitarian one. It demonstrates that the Rawlsian approach of 'fair equality of opportunity for health' is subject to two objections: first, it does not mandate treatment for genetically caused medical conditions; and second, it is forced to mandate an equalization of health, even when unequal health would be of benefit to everyone's health. Since standard luck egalitarianism is just as vulnerable to this second 'leveling down' objection, the luck egalitarian can and ought to revert to a prioritarian pattern of distributing health. Luck prioritarian justice in health thus judges a distribution of health to be just if it promotes the health of those who are not responsible for their low level of health, and among those, gives higher priority to those whose health is (even) worse.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationResponsibility and Distributive Justice
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780191725463
ISBN (Print)9780199565801
StatePublished - 1 May 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© the several contributors 2011. All rights reserved.


  • Equality
  • Health
  • Justice
  • Leveling down
  • Luck egalitarianism
  • Opportunity
  • Prioritarianism
  • Rawls
  • Responsibility


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