Darf eine Überflussgesellschaft Gesundheit rationieren?
Zeitschrift für Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualität im Gesundheitswesen 2010 104(3): 196-202
The title of this paper is not, as it might suggest at first glance, just a rhetorical question. It is, rather, a serious one, which I will examine in five steps: (1) No matter how affluent a society may be, it will never manage to overcome what I call "the anthropological law of scarcity". (2) Because of this anthropological law societies have to decide how to respond to it. This implies questions about the where and what of rationing--one possible candidate is the healthcare system. (3) A reasonable way of dealing with these issues, I propose, is based on the moral attitude of prudence. (4) Wherever the threat of unbound covetousness (pleonexia) arises prudence stimulates counter-forces. (5) Finally, I consider the question of how a society should deal with scarcity from the normative perspective of justice.
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