Questioning social justice as a shared nursing value
Lipscomb, M. (2010) Questioning social justice as a shared nursing value. In: The 14th International Philosophy of Nursing Conference (Vancouver): Philosophizing Social Justice in Nursing, Vancouver, Canada, 20 - 22 September 2010.
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This presentation questions the assertion, contained in a variety of nursing literatures that nurses should (normatively), or must (as regulation), accept social justice as a shared nursing value. Thus, problematically, many normative social justice claims rest upon weak forms of argument. For example, social justice is frequently juxtaposed against contentious assumptions regarding market disutility and, in consequence, the validity of the normative claim is undermined. As regulation, social justice assertions are often made without explanation. This is not in itself a problem. However, it may be that these claims assume the concept describes a clearly understood, self-evident and irrefutable good when, perhaps, this is not necessarily the case and, without explanation or justification, regulatory demands that social justice be accepted and acted upon are incoherent. The presentation does not argue for social injustice or inequality and it is not suggested that valid arguments supporting social justice as a shared nursing value cannot be made. Rather, it is argued that, as currently formulated, many normative and regulatory claims regarding social justice are inadequately developed and have therefore to be rejected. Further, it is proposed that, were they to be taken seriously, some of these normative and regulatory assertions might generate unintended illiberal and intolerant consequences.