Jessica Flanigan, Politics

Liberalism and Medical Treatment

Mon, 12/06/2010
4:30 PM, Library Lounge, Bendheim Center for Finance
Event Category: 
Graduate Students

LEGS, or "Law-Engaged Graduate Students," meets during the academic year to discuss a work in progress by one of our Graduate Associates. Academic papers, dissertation proposals, and dissertation chapters have been presented at these meetings, to an audience of fellow graduate students. 

In the LEGS seminar on 6 December, Jessica Flanigan will discuss "Liberalism and Medical Treatment."

The paper will be available prior to the seminar.

Jessica writes, "Liberal theorists agree a just society ought to provide at least some health care to all citizens. Yet the same considerations that tell in favor of public provision of health care should also motivate liberals to consider legal access to medical treatment as a subject of justice. In this chapter I will argue for greater attentiveness to the regulation of medical treatment and then I will sketch some liberal principles for the regulation of access to medical treatment, which I will develop in the forthcoming chapters.

First I will sketch some of the most prominent and promising liberal arguments for the public provision of health care. Next I will discuss some ways, besides the public provision of health care, that policy making can and does influence public health, including criminal law, tort law, regulation, and public speech and spending. I will then argue that the same considerations that motivate liberals to endorse the public provision of health care can also inform other kinds of public health policies, and I will gesture at some principles that I will develop in the rest of this dissertation. Namely, I will suggest that liberal societies ought to allow greater legal access to most kinds of medical treatment for all citizens. Last, I will discuss how the public provision of universal health care might conflict with universal access to medical treatment, and some ways of resolving this tension."

Jessica Flanagan is a third-year graduate student in the Department of Politics. Her dissertation, "States of Agency and the Agency of States," focuses on the similarities between human agency and collective agency. In it, she explores the possibility that collectivities have moral status, including rights and responsibilities. Other research interests include Kantian ethics, formal theory, and judicial politics. Flanigan holds a B.A. in political science and philosophy from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and an M.A. in political science from Washington University in St. Louis.