Relational Ethics for Public Health: Interpreting Solidarity and Care.


This article defends 'relational theorizing' in bioethics and public health ethics and describes its importance. It then offers an interpretation of solidarity and care understood as normatively patterned and psychologically and socially structured modes of relationality; in a word, solidarity and care understood as 'practices.' Solidarity is characterized as affirming the moral standing of others and their membership in a community of equal dignity and respect. Care is characterized as paying attention to the moral (and mortal) being of others and their needs, suffering, and vulnerability. The wager of relational theorizing in health care and public health is that substantive ethical visions of solidarity and care will provide support for more just and egalitarian health care and public health policies.