Irreconcilable Differences? Bringing Together Secular and Reformed Christian Social Justice Discourse in an Argument for Universal Access in Health Care

Greg E. Manship


Greg E. Manship argues that the principle of social justice grounds ethical arguments for universal access in health care. Ethical arguments embody secular and religious conceptualizations of social justice. Because many secular and religious presuppositions are mutually exclusive, respective arguments are perceived to be incompatible, thus precluding the integration of pluralistic arguments into a comprehensive ethical argument for universal access. Identification and examination of commonalities in a secular conceptualization of social justice by Norman Daniels and a Reformed Christian conceptualization by Nicholas Wolterstorff demonstrate how Christian arguments augment and cooperate with secular arguments to yield a more comprehensive argument for universal access in health care. Mr. Manship is a doctoral candidate with the Center for Health Care Ethics at Saint Louis University.


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Last Updated: October 6, 2005
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