A shared intellect: A Rawlsian analysis of vaccine patent protections
Date of Publication
Bachelor of Arts Major in Philosophy
College of Liberal Arts
Defense Panel Member
Robert James M. Boyles
Napoleon M. Mabaquiao, Jr.
Elenita D. Garcia
One fundamental issue at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic is the relationship between access to medicine and intellectual property rights. The purpose of what follows is to advocate for a cosmopolitan interpretation of John Rawls and apply it to the debate on vaccine patent protections. Using the Philippines and other developing countries as the context of analysis, this paper has one main claim – that the vaccine waiver is right in the interest of justice and patent protections must be lifted to be considered just. The approach here analyzes Rawls’ nature of justice and distribution and their limitations to establish this framework, revise it as necessary, and justify its use in the patent debate. While critics posit the limitations of using Rawls' framework to states only, we reject this in light of the critique of Thomas Pogge among others. This leads us to cosmopolitanism and its variants, namely social justice. Considering the Cosmopolitan Principles of Justice (CPJ), a modified version of Rawls' original framework, lifting patent protections is just because patent protections that block access to health are unjust. CPJ then entails a revision of institutions so as to not perpetuate injustice and to be aligned with social justice.
Vaccines; Patents; Intellectual property; John Rawls, 1921-2002
Co, V. T. (2022). A shared intellect: A Rawlsian analysis of vaccine patent protections. Retrieved from https://animorepository.dlsu.edu.ph/etdb_philo/2
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