Healthcare and the Common Good: Restructuring the Economy of Medical Knowledge through Communitarian Political Theory
Tuckwell, Gordon Batt
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The pharmaceutical industry wields disproportionate power and control within the medical economy of knowledge where the desire for profit considerably outweighs health for its own sake. Utilizing the theoretical tools of political philosophy, this project restructures the economy of medical knowledge in order to lessen the oligarchical control possessed by the pharmaceutical industry. Ultimately, this project argues that an economy of medical knowledge structured around communitarian political theory lessens the current power dynamic without taking an anti-capitalist stance. Arising from the core commitments of communitarian-liberalism, the production, distribution, and consumption of medical knowledge all become guided processes seeking to realize the common good of quality healthcare. This project also considers two other theoretical approaches: liberalism and egalitarianism. A Medical knowledge economy structured around liberal political theory is ultimately rejected as it empowers the oligarchical status quo. Egalitarian political theory is able to significantly reduce the power imbalance problem but simultaneously renders inconsequential medical knowledge; therefore, it is also rejected.