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This is a special issue for two reasons. Firstly, it is the first issue of my extension as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Medical Ethics until May 2018. I would like to thank the Institute of Medical Ethics and BMJ. I would also like to welcome Dr Tom Douglas and Associate Professor Dominic Wilkinson as lead editors. The Editorial team, all of whom have done a fantastic job, will remain the same for our last two years.
Secondly, this is an Editors' Choice Issue. The Editors and Associate Editors each invited one contributor of their choice. Our self-imposed brief was to concentrate on excellent but less well-known scholars from a variety of perspectives, especially those who are young and up and coming, alongside some more established contributors. We gave them no topic direction and it is interesting that their contributions aggregate naturally around four perennial clusters: the concept of the good life, end of life, public health and new technologies (enhancement/selection).
James Wilson argues for a right to public health as risk reduction (see page 367). He argues that the right to public health is analogous to the right to security.
The right to public health entails that individuals have an entitlement that their governments systematically remove threats to human health by undertaking health protection and promotion measures. For example, we are all subject to infringements of liberty and inconvenience for airport security—including searches of our person and luggage. This is justified not because it guarantees our safety but because it lowers our risk collectively. So, public health measures, such as limiting soda portion sizes, could be justified if they promoted public health because we have a right to public health, just as we have a right to security.
I agree with much of Wilson's argument but I am not …
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