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Health Care and the Ethics of Encounter

A Jewish Discussion of Social Justice

Laurie Zoloth

Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Imprint: The University of North Carolina Press
Published: 10/2005
Pages: 336
Subject: Religion, Health and Fitness, Philosophy | University of North Carolina
Print ISBN: 9.78E+12
eBook ISBN: 9780807876206


The last several years have seen a sharpening of debate in the United States regarding the problem of steadily increasing medical expenditures, as well as inflation in health care costs, a scarcity of health care resources, and a lack of access for a growing number of people in the national health care system. Some observers suggest that we in fact face two crises: the crisis of scarce resources and the crisis of inadequate language in the discourse of ethics for framing a response.

Laurie Zoloth offers a bold claim: to renew our chances of achieving social justice, she argues, we must turn to the Jewish tradition. That tradition envisions an ethics of conversational encounter that is deeply social and profoundly public, as well as offering resources for recovering a language of community that addresses the issues raised by the health care allocation debate.

Constructing her argument around a careful analysis of selected classic and postmodern Jewish texts and a thoughtful examination of the Oregon health care reform plan, Zoloth encourages a radical rethinking of what has become familiar ground in debates on social justice.