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October 24/31, 2012

Requirement to Purchase Health Insurance—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Jody W. Zylke, MD, Senior Editor.

Author Affiliations: Department of Bioethics, National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland (dwendler@nih.gov).

JAMA. 2012;308(16):1628-1629. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.12628

In Reply: We claimed that the duty to rescue is not grounded in individuals' rights to be rescued. It follows that individuals cannot avoid the obligation to buy health insurance simply by waiving their putative right to be rescued. Mr Smith writes that because we failed to specify to whom this duty is owed, we seem committed to the claim that the duty to rescue is not owed to anyone. This is at odds with the views of some philosophers, including Darwall, who hold that duties must be owed to someone.1

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