(Offered jointly with BH 474A) This course examines the ethical problem of allocating scarce health care resources. Our emphasis throughout is on fundamental principles of justice that support alternative health policies. The first part of the course introduces students to several influential theories of justice, and considers the support these theories lend to the idea of a right to health care. The second section turns to consider alternative approaches to rationing health care. We examine arguments for and against rationing based on a patient's ability to pay; likelihood, length, or quality of medical benefit; social value; and age. We also consider the criteria of random selection; first come, first served; and favored group status. In the final section of the course, we discuss recent U.S. health care system reform. All readings are from contemporary philosophy and medical ethics literature. There are no prerequisites, but a previous course in ethics, medical ethics, or social philosophy is recommended.
TEXT: Journal articles from the course website