discrimination, equality, health, moral dilemmas

Moral Dilemma (24): Gender, Longevity and Healthcare

old couple


Given equal healthcare, women on average tend to live longer than men. You can see this as an injustice. Living a long and healthy life is clearly something that is generally considered to be good. Men have not chosen to be born as men. And neither have women. So why should men be burdened with such an unearned disadvantage? Compare this to a disability: people born with disability rightly have a claim to compensation or remediation. Hence, wouldn’t it be right to give men more medical attention than women to counteract – as far as possible – the natural masculine handicap? Or would giving women less medical attention than men be a case of discrimination?

Thanks for voting. By the way, I have some other dilemmas here for which I also would appreciate your vote. I repeat my promise that one day I’ll publish an analysis of the results of the votes for all those dilemmas. Just waiting for a bit more response.

More moral dilemmas are here.


2 thoughts on “Moral Dilemma (24): Gender, Longevity and Healthcare

  1. This is a good question that I never thought about before! As a woman I voted that men & women should be treated equally in healthcare, however, I admit I am biased in that opinion. I have dealt with discrimination in the medical field personally as well as when taking care of my elderly parents. For example, both my parents had heart disease yet my mother took years longer to be diagnosed simply because, as a woman, she had different symptoms. Yet most drugs/testing/etc. are mostly male focused so too often women do not receive heart care like a man, which I saw first hand with my mother. Doctors also do not seem to know how to handle “emotions” when women present. By that I mean that women often describe symptoms using emotional words that doctors either do not understand or dismiss as a woman just “being emotional” and not presenting with real symptoms.

    Yet, despite a supposed “male focused” healthcare system women live longer! My mother lived almost 10 years longer than my father despite not being diagnosed with her heart condition and treated as early as my father was. So, perhaps my vote is too biased and we really do need give more healthcare to men. Thanks for (another) thought provoking read. I truly enjoy your writings even though I rarely comment.

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