White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

Public health care resource allocation and the rule of rescue

Cookson, R., Tsuchiya, A. and McCabe, C. (2008) Public health care resource allocation and the rule of rescue. Discussion Paper. Journal of Medical Ethics

This is the latest version of this eprint.

[img] Text (HEDS_DP_07-04.pdf)

Download (402Kb)


In health care, a tension sometimes arises between the injunction to do as much good as possible with scarce resources and the injunction to rescue identifiable individuals in immediate peril, regardless of cost (the "Rule of Rescue". This tension can generate serious ethical and political difficulties for public policy makers faced with making explicit decisions about the public funding of controversial health technologies, such as costly new cancer drugs. In this paper we explore the appropriate role of the Rule of Rescue in public resource allocation decisions. We consider practical approaches to operationalising the Rule of Rescue from Australia and the UK before examining the relevance of individual moral imperatives to public policy making. We conclude that, whilst public policy makers in a humane society should facilitate exceptional departures from a cost effectiveness norm in clinical decisions about identified individuals, it is not so obvious that they should, as a matter of national public policy, except any one group of unidentified individuals within society from the rules of opportunity cost at the expense of all others.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Social Policy and Social Work (York)
Depositing User: ScHARR / HEDS (Sheffield)
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2010 09:50
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2016 01:03
Status: Published
Publisher: Journal of Medical Ethics
Refereed: No
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/11029

Available Versions of this Item

Actions (repository staff only: login required)