QALYs: Are They Enough? a Health Economist's Perspective
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1989 Sep; 15(3): 148-152.
John Rawles's criticism of QALYs are seen as being both imprecise and largely unhelpful. This paper accepts that there are problems in both QALYs themselves and in the current decision-making processes which they seek to help. The QALY pliers tend to play down the former and the QALY knockers the latter. It is suggested that theories (regret theory and prospect theory) other than expected utility theory, which is normally seen as the basis for QALYs, may provide better approaches to measuring health service outputs. Thus equity, information and decision-making per se are not handled as well in the expected utility QALYs as they could be. Developing better QALYs, with qualifications, is the goal.
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