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Principles of justice in health care rationing

By Richard Cookson and Paul Dolan

Abstract

This paper compares and contrasts three different substantive (as opposed to procedural) principles of justice for making health care priority-setting or “rationing” decisions: need principles, maximising principles and egalitarian principles. The principles are compared by tracing out their implications for a hypothetical rationing decision involving four identified patients. This decision has been the subject of an empirical study of public opinion based on small-group discussions, which found that the public seem to support a pluralistic combination of all three kinds of rationing principle. In conclusion, it is suggested that there is room for further work by philosophers and others on the development of a coherent and pluralistic theory of health care rationing which accords with public opinions

Topics: RA Public aspects of medicine
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
Year: 2000
DOI identifier: 10.1136/jme.26.5.323
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:33027
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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