Strong Medicine: The Ethical Rationing of Health Care

Hardcover | June 1, 1993

byPaul T. Menzel

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In one form or another, health care now gets rationed. Not everything beneficial is done for every patient. For the individual the consequences are sometimes tragic. Rationing decisions thus raise a classic dilemma: how can we treat with dignity and genuine respect the person who getsshort-changed by an efficient policy that seems best overall? Strong Medicine argues that we can, if those policies represent the hard trade-off preferences of patients controlling resources for their larger lives. Rationing is still strong medicine to swallow, but then it becomes what patients aswell as the doctor ordered. Menzel develops this central idea and applies it to major issues of health policy and economics: the notion of pricing life, the long-run cost of prevention, measuring quality of life, imperiled newborns, adequate care for the poor, containing costs by marketcompetition, malpractice suits, procuring organs for transplant, and dying expensively in old age. He provides a hard-hitting, critical philosophical discussion of these issues, in non-technical language accessible to a wide range of readers interested in policy questions the book takes up. Theissues are fascinating, the arguments are careful, and the results often surprising.

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From the Publisher

In one form or another, health care now gets rationed. Not everything beneficial is done for every patient. For the individual the consequences are sometimes tragic. Rationing decisions thus raise a classic dilemma: how can we treat with dignity and genuine respect the person who getsshort-changed by an efficient policy that seems b...

Paul T. Menzel is at Pacific Lutheran University.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:June 1, 1993Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195057104

ISBN - 13:9780195057102

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Table of Contents

1. Could an Economist Take the Hippocratic Oath?2. May we Presume Your Consent to Risk?3. Consent and the Pricing of Life4. The Costs of Lifesaving: What if Smoking Saves Money?5. Measuring Quality of Life6. The Innocence of Birth7. The Poor and the Puzzle of Equality8. Real Competition9. Malpractice and the Costs of Complaint10. Raising Transplants11. The Duty to Die Cheaply

Editorial Reviews

"[Menzel's] approach is critical and interesting." --Doctor-Patient Studies