Reviews Book

Public Health, Ethics, and Equity

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 28 April 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1031
  1. John Lynch (, associate professor of epidemiology
  1. University of Michigan, United States

    Health has improved enormously over the 20th century. The 2003 United Nations Human Development Report shows that one indicator of health, average life expectancy at birth, now exceeds 70 years in almost half the world's countries and in 45% of the world's population (my calculations). But although health has improved it has not been shared equally within or among countries, and this is an affront to a sense of social justice. When the capacity exists for generating social goods that enhance health for some individuals, communities, or countries, then it is a priority to extend that capacity for generating better levels of health to everyone else.

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    Eds Sudhir Anand, Fabienne Peter, Amartya Sen

    Oxford University Press, £55, pp 400 ISBN …

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