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Happiness, welfare and ethics: dissonant consequences and conflicting values

Clydesdale, Gregory M.
Journal Article
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::1603 Demography , ANZSRC::160305 Population Trends and Policies , ANZSRC::1607 Social Work , ANZSRC::160702 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services , ANZSRC::2201 Applied Ethics , ANZSRC::220101 Bioethics (human and animal) , ANZSRC::1701 Psychology , ANZSRC::1117 Public Health and Health Services , ANZSRC::111708 Health and Community Services
This paper draws attention to an uncomfortable ethical issue with regard to happiness and welfare. The introduction of Western healthcare to Africa has resulted in significant population growth, with implications for human and animal welfare. However, the issue of population control or withdrawing health aid raises serious ethical concerns. This paper introduces the ethical problem and the factors giving rise to it. It then provides an exploratory analysis of the various ethical positions from which this problem can be viewed, with an eye to maximising human and animal welfare. Recent psychological work on welfare is considered when discussing the different ethical approaches. The discussion highlights the fact that conflicts in values can occur, and ways of resolving these are discussed.
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