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Distributive Justice Across the Generations


Distributive Justice Across the Generations

In Chapter 3 of your textbook, the author discusses how demographic differences, such as age, influence understandings of distributive justice. He also reviews how libertarian, utilitarian, and egalitarian theories of distributive justice enter into conversations across demographic divides.

The soaring cost of health care, the limitations of the economy in paying for health care, and the growing proportion of the population who are over age 65, have given rise to serious discussion, at times acrimonious, about the possible need to or the justice of rationing health care to that age group. A common definition of rationing is withholding some specific medical treatments for reasons other than a patient’s desire to have the treatment (e.g., Medicare not paying for certain treatments for very elderly patients).

In your discussion, you must, from the perspective of distributive justice, summarize the major arguments on both sides (the pros and cons) of the issue of whether health care should be rationed to the elderly. You must also characterize these arguments according to whether they are primarily libertarian, utilitarian, or egalitarian in nature. Finally, you will evaluate these arguments from your view of distributive justice, explaining both how your personal life experiences and your own libertarian, utilitarian, or egalitarian views influence your evaluation.

To help you successfully complete this discussion, review the following required resources:
a. Callahan, D., & Nuland, S. B. (2011, June 19). The quagmire: How American medicine is destroying itself. The New Republic, 242(8), 16-18. Retrieved from the EBSCOhost database.
b. Rationing by any other name: Reasons for resisting the push to limit medical care (
c. Should we ration end-of-life care? [Radio broadcast] (

Support your claims with examples from at least two of the required resources for this discussion, and properly cite any references..

Question 2:
Distributive Justice and Scarce Natural Resources

In Chapter 3 of the text, the author calls attention to how struggles for scarce natural resources will pose increasingly difficult problems of distributive justice in the future, on both the local and global levels. “Case 3.4 – Fracking Friction” (in Section 3.4) explores this issue in the context of fracking for natural gas.

Suppose that the connection between fracking and adverse health effects is as yet an unproven possibility. Do individuals’ health interests outweigh the property interests of energy companies in withholding information about fracking chemicals, which they claim are trade-secrets? Why or why not?

Your initial post must, from the perspective of distributive justice, explain your response to the above questions as they relate to Case 3.4. Consider the issue from both sides (the pros and cons). Incorporate arguments that draw upon libertarian, utilitarian, and egalitarian views of distributive justice.

To help you successfully complete this discussion, review the following required resources:
d. Fracking secrets by thousands keep U.S. clueless on wells (
e. Fracking: Abundant energy, but at what cost? (
f. Is fracking making people sick? [Radio broadcast] (
g. Fracking our food supply (


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