Education And Debate

Fairness is at issue

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 02 April 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:907
  1. R Chadwick

    The last paragraph of Bochner et al's paper asks whether the model and its application are fair. The answer is said to depend on whether rationing itself is fair. And yet arguably the very concept of rationing (as in postwar rationing, for example) involves sharing resources equitably, giving each person their portion. How to achieve an equitable distribution is the issue. In the current debates about allocation of health care resources, however, the term “rationing” has acquired a bad image, whereas “priority setting” has for some reason been thought preferable, although setting priorities precisely does mean giving preference to some areas and thus some people, with the implication that others will go without.

    *“Interpersonal comparisons...affect most if not all criteria of allocation.”

    The model outlined is one …

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