Yet apart from the ethical side of the matter, there is the practical side.What is a healthy lifestyle?
Take a sugar tax, for example.Too much sugar is unhealthy, but what is too much is different from person to person. Michael Phelps needs more sugar than I do, while he may also be ‘ healthier ‘ or certainly ‘ fitter ‘. In such a situation, Michael Phelps would pay more tax than I do, by a measure intended to make everyone live healthier. It is a bit of an extreme example for illustrative purposes, but it is true that such laws often have many exceptions and unexpected consequences.
You also have the fact that people who are in a better socio-economic position are generally better able to take care of themselves.This is something the government can support, by giving good access to education, etc. It seems much more useful to tackle the root cause than to try to eradicate symptoms by imposing arbitrary obligations.
Then you can still talk about what the task of the government actually is, something about which, of course, is very much philosophised and of which an in-depth discussion does not really fit within this answer, but I think that a government does not have to be moored in anyway with Personal.The classic example: someone who is drinking humanity can do that, but from the moment you crawl behind the wheel it becomes a matter for the government, since you can also harm others.
Therefore, it does not seem desirable for a government to require a healthy lifestyle.It is not efficient, can have many unexpected consequences, and it simply does not belong to the task package of a government.
No, I do not think that is ethical.
People must have the freedom to make their own choice, even if they are negative for themselves.
However, the government must do things to promote healthier elections.For instance, visiting a dietitian is already partially covered by the basic insurance of all health insurers, and higher excise duties have been introduced on alcohol and tobacco. It also seems to me good if they raise the load for other unhealthy products (candy, soda, etc.) and reduce for example vegetable and fresh fruit. That will hopefully encourage people to go for the healthy choice more often, but it will not be compulsory.
I do think that the government can intervene if the personal electals of people, whether voluntary or not, have a negative impact on people around them.That is why, for example, there is a smoking ban in many places. That does not prohibit people from smoking, but rather to smoke that other people suffer.
Another example of this is the inocuities of your children.I think that parents can decide whether to inocate their healthy child or not, no matter how much I think it is more and more common. But if they do not do so they should be legally denied from, for example, child care. Such a ban would therefore immediately work as an incentive to make the ‘ healthy ‘ choice.
Oblige, oblige, government?In my view, a well-functioning government is essentially a tool for people to live together as well as possible. It regulates what we have to do jointly, the public, how the interests of individuals and groups are weighed and protected as best as possible. How a society as a whole is protected from outside threats.
In This view, there is a justification for interference with unhealthy behaviour if it can have negative consequences for others.However, the question is to what extent a government may restrict the freedom of citizens. In my view, this is mainly determined by the balancing of social harm that is objectively prevented by that restriction and, on the other hand, the undesirable restriction of personal integrity and freedoms in principle.
On the one hand, you have such an obvious choice, that I do not have the freedom to fire a retirement home, even if it is my property. On the other hand you have of those complicated cases or it is allowed to dye my house in the color that is on me.What kind of damage do I do with others? No direct but indirect it can negatively affect the value of the House of my neighbours.
This is also a problem In this sphere.You can look at it this way: We have a problem because people are getting older. This leads, among other things, to pension problems, housing problems, tightness in the labour market, cost explosion in health care and reduced vitality of the population as a whole.
From this point of view, the solution is: to have as long a working-productive period as possible of a human being and as short a postactive period as possible.In other words, to promote a lifestyle that allows people to work well for thirty, forty years, and then a rapid decay, love something plotselings and an indrug: an aneurism or a fatal heart attack.
Smoking is a positive phenomenon in many respects.It does not kill people right away, which is usually thirty to forty years of labor productivity and the postactive period is shortened by about 7 years. Say roughly 30% of pensions are being saved and very attractive homes are being released for young families and there are far fewer cars on the road, economically and traffic-friendly as well. Moreover, by smart taxation, we can make the care costs for cancer to a significant extent by the smokers themselves. The cancer research would not be as distant without smokers as it is now, so also non-smokers benefit tremendously from medical progress and are mainly paid for by smokers.
Should our government promote smoking?People want it themselves and socially, it offers great benefits. Well, almost no one wants to die, but longer life is just a shift from the problem. We do not want to die if we are seventy, but we still do not want to die if we achieve a reasonably healthy eighties. At a retirement age of 65 years, we have already cost three times as much of pensions. With an ageing population, a tripling of the AOW and pension costs for the workers is simply not to be put on.
Does our government need to make smoking but compulsory, say a parcel a day from the thirtieth year of life?I am not so for that. I do not think it is so ethical, despite the societal benefits.