AIDS and the Good Society

Patricia Illingworth, Author Routledge $13.95 (197p) ISBN 978-0-415-00024-6
McGill University philosophy professor Illingworth flouts common sense in this jargon-happy assessment of the AIDS crisis. Arguing that a ``good society'' does not interfere with people who harm only themselves with their actions, she adds that a ``good society'' should intervene when these acts are not performed ``autonomously.'' According to her, engaging in high-risk practices is self-harming; however, it is not an autonomous choice because, she says, our society strongly encourages high-risk lifestyles for some groups--gay men may seek high-risk sex because they have limited options for relationships; IV drug-users face laws that ``wrongfully discriminate against'' their chosen activity. Therefore, she concludes, society should restore the autonomy of AIDS patients by giving them money, which ``will give them the wherewithal to do what they want.'' She prefers cash to health care because one survey of medical students ``shows'' that health care professionals harbor prejudices against those with AIDS. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 197 pages - 978-0-415-00023-9
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