Public health requires the allocation of scarce resources, both for policies of prevention and cure. Hence the topic of 'priority setting' in health policy has become of increasing importance, with a common assumption that health benefits- perhaps in the form of QALYs - should be maximised. Proposed policies which do not achieve this end are thereby criticised as wasteful or even irrational. However the assumption that health policy should deliver only health benefits can be questioned. This paper explores two types of issue: first, risk and the role it plays in individual lives; and second the causal connection between health and other desirable states of individuals and societies.Articl
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