Justice in Health Care

B H Number: 
Justice in Health Care

This course is an examination of the ethical problem of allocating scarce medical resources. We will emphasize the fundamental principles of justice that support alternative health policies. The first part of the course introduces 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, including 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. The final part of the course explores future challenges facing the U.S. health care system, including ensuring quality, containing costs, improving access, and meeting the needs of a rapidly aging society.