An ethical framework for rationing health care

Abstract
This paper proposes an ethical framework for rationing publicly financed health care. We begin by classifying alternative rationing criteria according to their ethical basis. We then examine the ethical arguments for four rationing criteria. These alternatives include rationing high technology services, non-basic services, services to patients who receive the least medical benefit, and services that are not equally available to all. We submit that a just health care system will not limit basic health care to persons unable to pay for it. Furthermore, justice in health care requires limiting publicly-financed non-basic health care, striving for equality in access to basic health care, and relying on medical benefit to ration non-basic health care. Keywords: access to health care, allocation of resources, cost containment, equality, justice, medical technology, public policy, rationing, right to health care CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
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