Bioethics 16 (5):469–485 (2002)

Robert Woolfolk
Rutgers University, New Brunswick
John M. Doris
Washington University in St. Louis
Recent policy debates in the US over access to mental health care have raised several philosophically complex ethical and conceptual issues. The defeat of mental health parity legislation in the US Congress has brought new urgency and relevance to theoretical and empirical investigations into the nature of mental illness and its relation to other forms of sickness and disability. Manifold, nebulous, and often competing conceptions of mental illness make the creation of coherent public policy exceedingly difficult. Referencing a variety of approaches to ethical reflection on health care, and drawing from the empirical literature on therapeutic efficacy and economic efficiency, we argue that differential rationing, ‘disparity,’ is unjustifiable.
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DOI 10.1111/1467-8519.00303
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