Maximizing Health Benefits vs Egalitarianism: An Australian Survey of Health Issues
Social Science and Medicine. 1995 Nov; 41(10): 1429-1437.
Economists have often treated the objective of health services as being the maximization of the QALYs gained, irrespective of how the gains are distributed. In a cross section of Australians such a policy of distributive neutrality received: (a) very little support when health benefits to young people compete with health benefits to the elderly; (b) only moderate support when those who can become a little better compete with those who can become much better; (c) only moderate support when smokers compete with non smokers; (d) some support when young children compete with newborns; and (e) wide spread support when parents of dependent children compete with people without children. Overall, the views of the study population were strongly egalitarian. A policy of health benefit maximization received very limited support when the consequence is a loss of equity and access to services for the elderly and for people with a limited potential for improving their health.
Age Factors; Children; Costs and Benefits; Critically Ill; Economics; Evaluation; Evaluation Studies; Health; Health Care; Health Services; Illness; Justice; Life; Newborns; Organ Transplantation; Parents; Prognosis; Public Opinion; Public Participation; Public Policy; Qalys; Quality of Life; Refusal to Treat; Resource Allocation; Selection for Treatment; Self Induced Illness; Smoking; Survey; Transplantation; Treatment Outcome; Values;
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