Chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics, Dr. Pellegrino begins the conference with thoughts on the state of health care in the U.S. The debate about health care ethics in America has gone on for a long time and for the most part it has been argued in terms of economics, finance and practicalities - all important. But Pellegrino suggests that maybe these questions are secondary to other ethical matters. What obligations do we have to the ill? What does a good society owe to it's citizens? How do we judge among the programs available that we are meeting society's needs? How do we determine that we are a good society in this regard?
Health care for the common good, what does it mean? Many people move from reason to emotion in addressing this question. Pellegrino goes through 3 theories, Aristotelean, Liberal, and Communitarian perspectives on the common good.