Health Policy on the Town Meeting Agenda
Hastings Center Report. 1986 Apr; 16(2): 5-7.
Oregon Health Decisions is a citizen-based, nonprofit project initiated in 1982 to bring bioethical issues to the attention of the public. Using volunteer community representatives who organized 300 public meetings in 1983-1984, the first phase of the project culminated in a Citizen Health Care Parliament in 1984 that passed 35 resolutions aimed at the health care concerns of Oregonians. Similar projects have been initiated or are being planned in several other states, as described in an inset artice by Bruce Jennings. Hines, the executive director of Oregon Health Decisions, describes the three stages a typical community-based bioethics project goes through: public awareness and consciousness raising, determination of public values, and influence on policies through action-oriented recommendations. He answers criticisms that such projects are too political or neglect the needs of various minorities, and expresses confidence in the soundness of the Oregon model. (KIE abstract)
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