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Global inequities and healthcare disparities: can they be eliminated ethically?

Hengameh Hosseini (Department of Health Administration and Human Resources, University of Scranton, Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA)

International Journal of Ethics and Systems

ISSN: 2514-9369

Article publication date: 18 January 2021

Issue publication date: 3 April 2021




The purpose of this paper is to comprehensively explore and propose solutions to global economic inequities and disparities, with a particular focus on healthcare. This paper also aims to explore whether drastic reductions of inequality are justified in terms of conventional economic theory, and whether ending inequality can be viewed as ethical through certain lenses.


To seek the response to those questions, the paper uses Pareto optimality; Hicks–Kaldor model; Millian utilitarianism; the ethical theories developed by John Rawls in his 1971 work on ethics as well as his 1999 Law of People; and the capability approach developed by Noble Laureate economists Amartya Sen. As demonstrated, those equalizing works cannot support a policy that would advocate an end to global inequities. Those theories also propose no practical solutions for the end of those extreme inequities. Thus, the paper attempts to present other solutions.


This paper discusses two theories that are very helpful in supporting those without much wealth. Mohammad Yunus’ Grameen Bank and its provision of small free-interest loans to poor businesses (in particular women) in Bangladesh has been very successful. Another alternative advocating interest-free banking that was proposed by the proponents of binary economics is discussed.


The author believes the arguments used to support the theses of this paper be unique and novel.



Hosseini, H. (2021), "Global inequities and healthcare disparities: can they be eliminated ethically?", International Journal of Ethics and Systems, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 181-196.



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