Cost-Effectiveness Analysis in Health Care
Emery, Danielle Dolenc
Schneiderman, Lawrence J.
Hastings Center Report. 1989 Jul/Aug; 19(4): 8-13.
Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) raises questions that are too important to be left to policy analysts and economists. Those who utilize CEA should acknowledge its inherent value system and adapt it to a more ethical usage. Rather than basing health care policy on medical outcome...human capital calculations require better "returns" from investment in the health of women, or alternatively, require them to be more ill to warrant the same dollar investment as for the health of men. It would be cruel and ironic to add medical injustice to economic injustice by incorporating the latter into health care decisionmaking. CEA has the potential to be driven by economic factors and preferentially allocate funds to the "cheap to treat," although the inequities may even out over time. While it may be a moral imperative to secure the greatest good possible, it cannot be done at the expense of the unfortunate few.
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