On value-judgements and ethics in health technology assessment

Poiesis and Praxis 3 (4):277-295 (2005)
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The widespread application of technology in health care has imposed a broad range of challenges. The field of health technology assessment (HTA) is developed in order to face some of these challenges. However, this strategy has not been as successful as one could hope. One of the reasons for this is that social and ethical considerations have not been integrated in the HTA process. Nowadays however, such considerations have been included in many HTAs. Still, the conclusions and recommendations of the HTAs are not followed. The reason for this may be that the methods for integrating ethics for HTA are not sufficiently developed, or that they are not adequate. This article presents a supplementary approach to the ethical inquiry in HTA. It is argued that a value analysis is crucial in order to address the ethical issues of health care technology in a fruitful way and to make viable decisions about such technology



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