terça-feira, 26 de setembro de 2006

Liberdade Individual e Compromisso Coletivo em Saúde Pública

Um texto pequeno de leitura fácil publicado em Emerging Themes in Epidemiology analisa o dilema entre a opção individual e o compromisso coletivo.O autor distingue três propostas: a coercitiva, a comunitária e a liberal. Ele também apresenta exemplos do dia a dia: o tabagismo passivo, obrigatoriedade de vacinas e, a notificação de doenças sexualmente transmissíveis. Em síntese, sua análise é a seguinte: "Coercive policies have the obvious disadvantages, first, that they may create improper infringements of individual rights, and, second, that they may grant too great an authority to specific individuals or agencies to determine of what the public good consists. For a communitarian, there is a similar emphasis on the public good, combined with the idea that our personal interests and identities are formed out of our membership of a community with specific values, rather than the nature of the community being fixed by our collected individual interests. Again, appeal to common interests solves the problem of individual-collective conflicts, but arguably at too high a cost in terms of infringements of individual liberties. The most likely solutions lie within liberalism. Following the ideas of John Stuart Mill, liberals believe that individuals should be free to live as they think best, subject only to the limitation that their actions and choices should not cause harm to others. This captures the idea that we should respect individual rights but also identify strict limits to those rights. A difficulty is that it is sometimes controversial what counts as a harm, and how significant it has to be for public policy to act to prevent it: a good example is the contemporary debate on second-hand smoke in public places." O texto complete poderá ser acessado em http://www.ete-online.com

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