Document Type


Publication Date



Justice is so central to the mission of public health that it has been described as the field's core value. Our account of justice stresses the fair disbursement of common advantages and sharing of common burdens. It captures the twin moral impulses that animate public health: to advance human well-being by improving health and to do so particularly by focusing on the needs of the most disadvantaged. This commentary explores how social justice sheds light on major ongoing controversies in the field, and it provides examples of the kinds of policies that public health agencies guided by a robust conception of justice would adopt.

Publication Citation

25 Health Aff. 1053-1060 (2006)