Two Danish political science professors have just published “Stay Out of the Sunbed! Paternalistic Reasons for Restricting the Use of Sunbeds” in Public Health Ethics. Here is their abstract:
“The use of tanning beds has been identified as being among the most significant causes of melanoma and non- melanoma skin cancer. Accordingly, the activity is properly seen as one that involves profound harm to self. The article examines paternalistic reasons for restricting sunbed usage. We argue that both so-called soft and hard paternalistic arguments support prohibiting the use of sunbeds.”
“We make the following three arguments: (i) an argument from oppressive patterns of socialization suggesting that the autonomous nature of the conduct in question is questionable; (ii) an argument from so-called evaluative delusions in which individuals attach incorrect weights to some of their values; (iii) a strictly hard paternalistic argument appealing to the harm in itself (as opposed to failures of rationality or agency) pertaining to the use of sunbeds.”
It is a refreshing surprise to see authors make a hard paternalistic justification for limiting liberty.