The Moral Relevance of Personal Characteristics in Setting Health Care Priorities
journal contributionposted on 08.06.2017 by Olsen, Jan Abel, Richardson, Jeff, Dolan, Paul, Menzel, Paul
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
This paper discusses the moral relevance of accounting for various personal characteristics when prioritising between groups of patients. After a review of the results from empirical studies, we inquire into the ethical reasons which might explain - and justify - the views expressed in these surveys. The paper develops a general framework on the causes of ill health and the consequences of treatment. It goes on to inquire into the extents to which a personal characteristic - and its eventual underlying ethical justification - could have any relationships to these causes and consequences. We attempt to disentangle those characteristics that may reflect a potentially relevant reason from those which violate widely accepted principles of social justice.