Responsibility and Healthcare

Davies, B., De Marco, G., Levy, N. and Savulescu, J., Eds. (2024), Responsibility and Healthcare. (Oxford University Press) 

Book cover for Responsibility and Healthcare book a green background with a red heart shaped knot

Oxford University Press

Provides entirely new articles from leading experts in the field

Offers cutting-edge research on a range of topics related to responsibility and health

Takes a broader view than solely focusing on the question of patient responsibility and its implications for provision of care, looking also at the responsibilities of healthcare providers and institutions

Features chapters written with non-specialists in mind, so accessible to those new to debates around responsibility and related issues

This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence. Chapters are free to read / download from Oxford Academic.


This edited collection brings together world-leading authors writing about a wide range of issues related to responsibility and healthcare, and from a variety of perspectives. Alongside a comprehensive introduction by the editors outlining the scope of the relevant debates, the volume contains 14 chapters, split into four sections. This volume pushes forward a number of important debates on responsibility and its role in contemporary healthcare.

The first and second groups of chapters focus, respectively, on (a) the potential justification and (b) nature of 'responsibility-sensitive' policies in healthcare provision; in other words, policies that would hold some patients responsible for their ill health via differences in treatment. These sections include empirically-informed work on public opinion, chapters linking responsibility in healthcare with ongoing debates around criminal responsibility, and new conceptual and theoretical work on the details of responsibility-sensitive policies.

The third set of chapters turns in a more detailed way to the issues of whether, and how, we can be responsible for our health, presenting novel challenges and questions for those who would advocate responsibility-sensitive policies in healthcare.
Finally, questions of responsibility in medicine do not end with those receiving treatment. The fourth group of chapters broadens the volume's focus to think about responsibility of individuals other than patients, including medical professionals and policymakers, including specific consideration of the role of responsibility during pandemics.

Freely available under CCBY from Oxford Academic.