||The allocation of medical resources is a subfield within more general concerns about distributive justice. As such, much discussion of medical resource allocation uses familiar terms and theories from this broader area. However, it is also a subject that has been seen by many to have particular importance, due to the central role that health plays in human lives. Medical resource allocations are typically driven by two factors: 'efficiency' (on the grounds that we should want resources in a social institution like medicine to bring about more benefit rather than less) and 'equality' (on the grounds people can suffer to differing degrees from ill health, and we should have some preference to help those who are worse off). Broadly speaking, many discussions of health care allocation are discussions of how to understand, and how to make commensurable, these two competing considerations. More recently, there has also been a turn towards the idea that since there may be no single, uniquely acceptable way of allocating medical resources, a theory of fair medical allocation must include some discussion of procedural principles, i.e. principles that relate to the process by which actual allocation decisions are made. Broader issues include the role of markets and insurance in access to medical care; whether states can set a package of 'basic healthcare' to which all are entitled; whether the allocation of medical resources should be sensitive to the responsibility of patients; and the potential for discrimination in various allocation principles.