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Acta Bioethica

SciELO Chile

Public health and social justice. Toward ethical sustainability in healthcare and research


  • Fernando Lolas Universidad de Chile


This paper puts forward the notion of ethical sustainability as the manifestation of moral values in public health policy. The most relevant of these values is that of justice, which is interpreted as fairness and qualified according to the type of society: Gemeinschaft, where social relations are ends in themselves, and Gesellschaft, where social relations are means to individual ends. Bioethics, as the dialogical construction of the moral universe and the support of moral imagination, is depicted both as a discourse and as a tool for improving the commonwealth.


Bioethics, public health, social justice, ethical sustainability.

Author Biography

Fernando Lolas, Universidad de Chile

Director, Bioethics Unit PAHO/WHO.