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Medical Costs, Moral Choices

Philosophy of Health Care Economics in America

By (author) Paul T. Menzel
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Yale University Press, New Haven, United States
Published: 27th Oct 1983
Dimensions: w 150mm h 230mm
Weight: 620g
ISBN-10: 0300029608
ISBN-13: 9780300029604
Barcode No: 9780300029604

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Kirkus US
"Conceptual paths" for use in making policy decisions about health care - exploratory, abstruse, and decidedly controversial. Menzel, a teacher of philosophy at Pacific Lutheran University, sees "costworthy" health care as a moral ideal. Most of us, he maintains, have "two very different reactions to health care": we think it is the most important thing money can buy; yet we resent the large sums that health-providers take in. Menzel's thinking thus revolves around what people would pay for health care - and his contentions are not only highly debatable but easily misread. "The value of life, and the value of the kinds of health care that are sometimes necessary to preserve life, can be given a finite price tag." "The monetary value of life, marginal care, and insurance for that care is lower for the poor than it is for the rich." Insurance and the value of life apart, Menzel explores: resource allocation for prevention or treatment; competition for scarce health resources between young and old, the extremely ill and the less sick, victims of rare and common diseases; and, finally, physicians' incomes. These are important and complex questions, and Menzel goes about his deliberations responsibly. But philosophical discussion of this kind - concerned with how to look at something, rather than with looking at it - is one step back from where most readers want to begin. A guide to decision-making that anyone can relate to is Health and Human Values, by Frank Harron et al. (p. 46). (Kirkus Reviews)