Adam Smith in the Emergency Room
Annas, George J.
Hastings Center Report. 1985 Aug; 15(4): 16-18.
Annas fears that efforts to control health care costs will erode the traditional ethic that hospitals have an obligation to provide emergency care to anyone, regardless of ability to pay. He characterizes emergency patients as falling midway between "statistical" and "identified" lives--we do not know who they will be, but turning them down risks the life of a specific person. After discussing the legal and moral obligations of hospitals and physicians to provide emergency care, he makes three suggestions: that professional associations reaffirm the ethical requirement to assist anyone needing emergency care; that the states define "emergency" broadly and add criminal penalties for hospitals and physicians that refuse such services; and that uninsured persons be encouraged to carry cards, similar to those used by Legal Services of Middle Tennessee, requiring a physician's signature and explanation if the patient is rejected for emergency treatment. (KIE abstract)
Decision Making; Economic Value of Life; Economics; Emergency Care; Ethics; Health; Health Care; Health Care Delivery; Health Insurance; Hospitals; Indigents; Institutional Ethics; Institutional Policies; Insurance; Legal Obligations; Life; Moral Obligations; Patient Admission; Patients; Physician's Role; Physicians; Proprietary Hospitals; Public Hospitals; Public Policy; Selection for Treatment; Value of Life;
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Annas, George J. (1986-01)Annas argues that current public policy that emphasizes cost containment over quality of care and equity of access is an effort to transform medical care from a social good to an economic good. This trend threatens to ...