It is unclear whether someone’s responsibility for developing a disease or maintaining his or her health should affect what healthcare he or she receives. While this dispute continues, we suggest that, if responsibility is to play a role in healthcare, the concept must be rethought in order to reflect the sense in which many health-related behaviours occur repeatedly over time and are the product of more than one agent. Most philosophical accounts of responsibility are synchronic and individualistic; we indicate here what paying more attention to the diachronic and dyadic aspects of responsibility might involve and what implications this could have for assessments of responsibility for health-related behaviour.
- public health ethics
- health promotion
- social aspects
- philosophical ethics
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Contributors Both authors contributed substantially to the development and drafting of the manuscript.
Funding This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust (PI Savulescu WT104848/Z/14/Z and co-PI Savulescu WT203132/Z/16/Z).
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
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