Calibrating QALYs to Respect Equality of Persons

Utilitas (1):1-23 (2016)

Donald Edwin Franklin
University College London
Comparative valuation of different policy interventions often requires interpersonal comparability of benefit. In the field of health economics, the metric commonly used for such comparison, quality adjusted life years (QALYs) gained, has been criticized for failing to respect the equality of all persons’ intrinsic worth, including particularly those with disabilities. A methodology is proposed that interprets ‘full quality of life’ as the best health prospect that is achievable for the particular individual within the relevant budget constraint. This calibration is challenging both conceptually and operationally as it shifts dramatically when technology or budget developments alter what can be achieved for incapacitated individuals. The proposal nevertheless ensures that the maximal achievable satisfaction of one person’s preferences can carry no more intrinsic value than that of another. This approach, which can be applied to other domains of social valuation, thus prevents implicit discrimination against the elderly and those with irremediable incapacities.
Keywords Equality  QALYs  health economics  valuation  appraisal
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1017/s0953820816000194
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Preferences, Needs and QALYs.J. Cohen - 1996 - Journal of Medical Ethics 22 (5):267-272.
Good, Fairness and QALYs.John Broome - 1988 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures 23 (1):57-73.
QALYs: Are They Enough? A Health Economist's Perspective.G. Mooney - 1989 - Journal of Medical Ethics 15 (3):148-152.
Castigating QALYs.J. Rawles - 1989 - Journal of Medical Ethics 15 (3):143-147.
Cost-Value Analysis in Health Care: Making Sense Out of QALYs.Erik Nord - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (202):132-133.
QALYs, Euthanasia and the Puzzle of Death.Stephen Barrie - 2015 - Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (8):635-638.


Added to PP index

Total views
98 ( #73,363 of 2,325,885 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
26 ( #22,686 of 2,325,885 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature