Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 41 (5):540-557 (2016)

Joseph Millum
National Institutes of Health
When allocating scarce healthcare resources, the expected benefits of alternative allocations matter. But, there are different kinds of benefits. Some are direct benefits to the recipient of the resource such as the health improvements of receiving treatment. Others are indirect benefits to third parties such as the economic gains from having a healthier workforce. This article considers whether only the direct benefits of alternative healthcare resource allocations are relevant to allocation decisions, or whether indirect benefits are relevant too. First, we distinguish different conceptions of direct and indirect benefits and argue that only a recipient conception could be morally relevant. We analyze four arguments for thinking that indirect benefits should not count and argue that none is successful in showing that the indirectness of a benefit is a good reason not to count it. We conclude that direct and indirect benefits should be evaluated in the same way.
Keywords Priority setting  Indirect benefits  Direct benefits  Allocation
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhw018
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References found in this work BETA

Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785/2002 - Oxford University Press.
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Bioethics and Moral Agency: On Autonomy and Moral Responsibility.John Skalko & Mark J. Cherry - 2016 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 41 (5):435-443.

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