Another Peep Behind the Veil
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1996 Aug; 22(4): 216-221.
Harris argues that if QALYs are used only 50% of the population will be eligible for survival, whereas if random methods of allocation are used 100% will be eligible. We argue that this involves an equivocation in the use of "eligible", and provides no support for the random method. There is no advantage in having a 100% chance if being "eligible" for survival behind a veil of ignorance if you still only have a 50% chance of survival once the veil is lifted. A 100% chance of a 50% chance is still only a 50% chance. We also argue that Harris provides no plausible way of dealing with the criticism that his random method of allocation may result in the squandering of resources.