Public Reasoning and Health-Care Priority Setting: The Case of NICE

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 27 (1):107-134 (2017)
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Health systems that provide for universal patient access through a scheme of prepayments—whether through taxes, social insurance, or a combination of the two—need to make decisions on the scope of coverage that they secure. Such decisions are inherently controversial, implying, as they do, that some patients will receive less than comprehensive health care, or less than complete protection from the financial consequences of ill-heath, even when there is a clinically effective therapy to which they might have access.Controversial decisions of this sort call for a public justification for covering or not covering a given treatment. Priority-setting agencies play a key role in providing such a justification. A recent...



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