Public Health Ethics 11 (1):82-89 (2018)

Authors
Douglas MacKay
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Abstract
Policy-makers must allocate scarce resources to support constituents’ health needs. This requires policy-makers to be able to evaluate health states and allocate resources according to some principle of allocation. The most prominent approach to evaluating health states is to appeal to the strength of people’s preferences to avoid occupying them, which we refer to as decision utility metrics. Another approach, experienced utility metrics, evaluates health states based on their hedonic quality. In this article, we argue that although decision utility metrics face a number of significant problems, the appropriate response to these problems is not to replace them with experienced utility metrics. Rather, decision utility metrics should be employed in conjunction with experienced utility metrics. Specifically, respondents to decision utility surveys should be provided with the results of experienced utility metrics in an effort to make their decisions better informed and more robust to the deficiencies of decision utility metrics. Ultimately, this approach would improve quality-adjusted life year calculations and enhance the decision-making of policy-makers in allocating resources to support constituents’ health needs.
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DOI 10.1093/phe/phx006
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Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics.L. W. Sumner - 1996 - Oxford University Press.

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