Rationing: the debate we have to have

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6981.686 (Published 18 March 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:686
  1. Richard Smith
  1. Editor BMJ London WC1H 9JR

    Britain needs a nationwide, prolonged, systematic debate on rationing

    Britain was transfixed last week by two stories that were primarily about the rationing of health care. In one case a court ruled that Cambridge Health Authority did not have to offer a second bone marrow transplant to a 10 year old child dying of leukaemia (p 0000). In the other case a man with a severe head injury was flown 320 km by helicopter to a neurosurgical unit because none of the many nearer units could take him (p 0000). The media were filled with these stories, and the debate over rationing exploded into life once again. Unfortunately—because the …

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