Hastings Center Report 46 (6):36-42 (2016)
AbstractCrowdfunding websites allow users to post a public appeal for funding for a range of activities, including adoption, travel, research, participation in sports, and many others. One common form of crowdfunding is for expenses related to medical care. Medical crowdfunding appeals serve as a means of addressing gaps in medical and employment insurance, both in countries without universal health insurance, like the United States, and countries with universal coverage limited to essential medical needs, like Canada. For example, as of 2012, the website Gofundme had been used to raise a total of 8.8 million dollars for seventy-six hundred campaigns, the majority of which were health related. This money can make an important difference in the lives of crowdfunding users, as the costs of unexpected or uninsured medical needs can be staggering. In this article, I offer an overview of the benefits of medical crowdfunding websites and the ethical concerns they raise. I argue that medical crowdfunding is a symptom and cause of, rather than a solution to, health system injustices and that policy-makers should work to address the injustices motivating the use of crowdfunding sites for essential medical services. Despite the sites’ ethical problems, individual users and donors need not refrain from using them, but they bear a political responsibility to address the inequities encouraged by these sites. I conclude by suggesting some responses to these concerns and future directions for research.
Similar books and articles
Perceptions of the Ethics of Medical Tourism: Comparing Patient and Academic Perspectives.J. Snyder, V. A. Crooks & R. Johnston - 2012 - Public Health Ethics 5 (1):38-46.
Promoting social responsibility amongst health care users: medical tourists' perspectives on an information sheet regarding ethical concerns in medical tourism.Krystyna Adams, Jeremy Snyder, Valorie A. Crooks & Rory Johnston - 2013 - Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 8:19.
What future for ethical medical practice in the new National Health Service?R. D. Persaud - 1991 - Journal of Medical Ethics 17 (1):10-18.
Securing Access to Health Care a Report on the Ethical Implications of Differences in the Availability of Health Services.United States - 1983 - President's Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research for Sale by the Supt. Of Docs., U.S. G.P.O.
Issues and Challenges in Research on the Ethics of Medical Tourism: Reflections from a Conference. [REVIEW]Jeremy Snyder, Valorie Crooks & Leigh Turner - 2011 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 8 (1):3-6.
New Directions for Health Insurance Design: Implications for Public Health Policy and Practice.Sara Rosenbaum - 2003 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 31 (s4):94-103.
Summing Up Final Report on Studies of the Ethical and Legal Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research.United States - 1983 - President's Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research.
Medical futility: a cross-national study.Alireza Bagheri - 2013 - New Jersey: Imperial College Press.
Ethics of Health Care: Papers of the Conference on Health Care and Changing Values, November 27-29, 1973.Laurence R. Tancredi (ed.) - 1974 - National Academy of Sciences.
Tiers Without Tears: The Ethics of a Two-Tiered Health Care System.Benjamin J. Krohmal & Ezekiel J. Emanuel - 2009 - In Bonnie Steinbock (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Bioethics. Oxford University Press.
New Directions in Health Insurance Design: Implications for Public Policy and Practice.Karen Pollitz, Donna Imhoff, Charles Scott & Sara Rosenbaum - 2003 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 31 (s4):60-62.
Funding, objectivity and the socialization of medical research.James Robert Brown - 2002 - Science and Engineering Ethics 8 (3):295--308.
The public funding of abortion in Canada: going beyond the concept of medical necessity. [REVIEW]Chris Kaposy - 2009 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 12 (3):301-311.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
Appealing to the crowd: ethical justifications in Canadian medical crowdfunding campaigns.Jeremy Snyder, Valorie A. Crooks, Annalise Mathers & Peter Chow-White - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (6):364-367.
Bioethics and the use of social media for medical crowdfunding.Brenda Zanele Kubheka - 2020 - BMC Medical Ethics 21 (1):1-5.
Ethical implications of medical crowdfunding: the case of Charlie Gard.Gabrielle Dressler & Sarah A. Kelly - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (7):453-457.
Medical Crowdfunding for Unproven Medical Treatments: Should Gofundme Become a Gatekeeper?Jeremy Snyder & I. Glenn Cohen - 2019 - Hastings Center Report 49 (6):32-38.
Medical crowdfunding in China: empirics and ethics.Pingyue Jin - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (8):538-544.
References found in this work
Prioritizing Vaccine Access for Vulnerable but Stigmatized Groups.C. Kaposy & N. Bandrauk - 2012 - Public Health Ethics 5 (3):283-295.
Commodifying the polyvalent good of health care.M. Cathleen Kaveny - 1999 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 24 (3):207 – 223.