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One health ethics: a response to pragmatism
  1. Zohar Lederman1,
  2. Benjamin Capps2
  1. 1Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  2. 2Department of Bioethics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Zohar Lederman, Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 129790, Hong Kong; zoharlederman{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Johnson and Degeling have recently enquired whether one health (OH) requires a comprehensive normative framework, concluding that such a framework, while not necessary, may be helpful. In this commentary, we provide a context for this debate, and describe how pragmatism has been predominant in the OH literature. We nevertheless argue that articulating a comprehensive normative theory to ground OH practice might clear existing vagueness and provide stronger guidance in relevant health dilemmas. A comprehensive theory will also be needed eventually to ground notions such as universal good. We, thus, call for the systematic articulation of a comprehensive, metaethical theory, concomitantly with already ongoing normative work.

  • environmental ethics
  • philosophical ethics
  • public health ethics
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Footnotes

  • Contributors ZL has produced the first draft of the manuscript. Both authors have contributed equally to revisions.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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