The right perspective on responsibility for ill health

Med Health Care Philos. 2013 Aug;16(3):429-41. doi: 10.1007/s11019-012-9432-6.


There is a growing trend in policy making of holding people responsible for their lifestyle-based diseases. This has sparked a heated debate on whether people are responsible for these illnesses, which has now come to an impasse. In this paper, I present a psychological model that explains why different views on people's responsibility for their health exist and how we can reach a resolution of the disagreement. My conclusion is that policymakers should not perceive people as responsible while health care personnel should take the opposing view.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Disease / etiology*
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Models, Psychological
  • Morals