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Prioritizing health care: is “health” always an appropriate maximand?

Oliver, Adam (2004) Prioritizing health care: is “health” always an appropriate maximand? Medical Decision Making, 24 (3). pp. 272-280. ISSN 1552-681X

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Abstract

In recent years, a few health economists have begun to question the ethical underpinnings of the standard practice of QALY maximisation as a ubiquitous decision rule in the allocation of health care resources. Prominent among these is Erik Nord, who conjectures that QALY maximisation discriminates against the chronically ill and disabled when prioritising between different individuals (or groups of individuals) for life-extending interventions. Nord has recommended that life years gained should always be given a weight equal to one in these circumstances. This article reports an experiment designed as an initial attempt at eliciting some of the thought processes employed by people when they prioritise life-saving health care interventions between patients who differ only in respect of the presence or absence of a disability. The results show that, in the priority setting contexts used, a majority of the respondents perceived the relative health status of the different patients as irrelevant, providing some tentative support for Nord’s argument.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://mdm.sagepub.com/
Additional Information: Published 2004 © Sage Publications. LSE has developed LSE Research Online so that users may access research output of the School. Copyright © and Moral Rights for the papers on this site are retained by the individual authors and/or other copyright owners. Users may download and/or print one copy of any article(s) in LSE Research Online to facilitate their private study or for non-commercial research. You may not engage in further distribution of the material or use it for any profit-making activities or any commercial gain. You may freely distribute the URL (http://eprints.lse.ac.uk) of the LSE Research Online website.
Library of Congress subject classification: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Sets: Research centres and groups > LSE Health and Social Care
Collections > Economists Online
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2006
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/157/

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