Health-care needs and shared decision-making in priority-setting

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 18 (1):13-22 (2015)
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In this paper we explore the relation between health-care needs and patients’ desires within shared decision-making in a context of priority setting in health care. We begin by outlining some general characteristics of the concept of health-care need as well as the notions of SDM and desire. Secondly we will discuss how to distinguish between needs and desires for health care. Thirdly we present three cases which all aim to bring out and discuss a number of queries which seem to arise due to the double focus on a patient’s need and what that patient desires. These queries regard the following themes: the objectivity and moral force of needs, the prediction about what kind of patients which will appear on a micro level, implications for ranking in priority setting, difficulties regarding assessing and comparing benefits, and implications for evidence-based medicine.



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Erik Gustavsson
Linkoping University

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Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
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On What Matters: Volume Three.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press UK.
Health as a theoretical concept.Christopher Boorse - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (4):542-573.

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