Committing to Priorities: Incompleteness in Macro-Level Health Care Allocation and Its Implications

Publication year: 2018

Herlitz, Anders

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43: 724-745.

Abstract

This article argues that values that apply to health care allocation entail the possibility of “spectrum arguments,” and that it is plausible that they often fail to determine a best alternative. In order to deal with this problem, a two-step process is suggested. First, we should identify the Strongly Uncovered Set that excludes all alternatives that are worse than some alternatives and not better in any relevant dimension from the set of eligible alternatives. Because the remaining set of alternatives often contain more than one element, we need some complementary method of selecting a unique alternative. In order to address this issue, I suggest that we must invoke caps on the values that are used to evaluate alternatives, and that these caps must be grounded in collective commitments.

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