Connections 20084. Tough Choices: The Economics and Ethics of Health Care Decision Making
This connection introduces students to the economic and ethical considerations involved in health care decision-making. Both the Medical Ethics and Health Economics courses consider healthcare as a resource; the distributive mechanisms of health care; and inequities in health and access to healthcare. In medical ethics students take a justice perspective to these issues, and in health economics they take an economics perspective. Questions addressed in the two courses include the following. What kind of a good is healthcare? Is it the sort of good that should be bought and sold through the market? Or does health have special moral importance and so healthcare the sort of good (like education) that persons have a right to? Supposing that healthcare resources can be distributed justly, what counts as a just distribution? What role should economic factors play in questions about health care, health resources, health research, and health insurance? How can economic theories and empirical studies be used to evaluate various policies?