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Healthism: Health-status Discrimination and the Law


Elizabeth Weeks

Jessica L. Roberts



Description: Can an employer refuse to hire someone who tests positive for nicotine or alcohol? Can an airline or movie theatre require overweight customers to purchase two seats? Can a health insurance company refuse to sell policies to those most in need of medical care? Can the government condition public assistance on wellness program participation or work activity? In this illuminating book, Jessica L. Roberts and Elizabeth Weeks consider these and similar questions, offering readers a nuanced analysis of when and why discrimination based on health status - or 'healthism' - should be allowed, and when it should not. They provide a methodology to distinguish desirable health-based classifications from the undesirable, and propose law and policy solutions to encourage the former and limit the latter. This work should be read by anyone concerned with how government does - and does not - regulate based on health.

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