Public Health Ethics 10 (3):244-256 (2017)

Kristin Voigt
McGill University
The Global Burden of Disease project quantifies the impact of different health conditions by combining information about morbidity and premature mortality within a single metric, the Disability Adjusted Life Year. One important goal for the GBD project has been to inform decisions about global health priorities. A number of recent studies have used GBD data to argue that global health funding fails to align with the GBD. We argue that these studies’ shared assumption that global health resources should ‘align’ with the burden of disease is unfounded and has troubling implications. First, since the allocation of resources involves difficult trade-offs between different, potentially competing goals, any ‘misalignment’ of allocation and disease burdens need not necessarily indicate that the allocation of funds fails to meet recipient countries’ needs or interests. Second, using alignment as a baseline implicitly makes controversial assumptions about how harms of different magnitudes affecting different numbers of individuals should be aggregated. We discuss two alternative ways in which GBD data could help inform decisions about resource allocation, neither of which gives more than a limited role to GBD data.
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DOI 10.1093/phe/phx012
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References found in this work BETA

Disadvantage.Jonathan Wolff & Avner de-Shalit - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Priority to the Worse Off in Health Care Resource Prioritization.Dan Brock - 2002 - In Margaret Battin (ed.), Medicine and Social Justice. Oxford University Press. pp. 373-389.

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