Smokers' Rights to Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery
Braun, Mary Ann
JONA's Healthcare Law, Ethics, and Regulation 2002 June; 4(2): 32-35
Imagine a health maintenance organization creating a policy to deny all smokers access to nonemergent coronary artery bypass graft surgery. The cost savings to the organization and society would be potentially significant. Now envision the smoker, a hardworking father with daily angina, and the provider, writing costly prescriptions to manage the angina. What ethical and legal questions do you suppose would present in that setting? Now imagine how you would respond if given this scenario of denying smokers access to nonemergent coronary artery bypass graft. This article discusses the implications of resource allocation with self-inflicted health behaviors such as smoking. Tough questions are raised that explore both the pros and the cons of smokers' rights to coronary artery bypass graft.
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