Just Healthcare in an Aging Society

The Need for a Human Flourishing-Based Understanding


  • Jayne Hewitt


Current theories of justice describe the arrangement of institutions for a just society, ones that seek to demonstrate equal concern and respect for all. However, the link between theories of justice that guide decision-making arrangements for intuitions and justice for individuals is not clear. This is particularly evident in relation to healthcare, where egalitarian theories of justice fail to account for the outcomes experienced by individuals. Introducing a case study that describes one man's healthcare experience in a large regional city hospital in Australia, this article argues that healthcare, particularly in an aging society, must move beyond the biomedical understanding of health, and seek more broadly to promote human flourishing. With a foundation in virtue ethics, the article then proposes an alternate understanding of justice in healthcare that addresses the highlighted limitations of egalitarian theories.

Author Biography

Jayne Hewitt

PhD Candidate, Griffith Law School, Queensland, Australia