A perfectionist adjunction to egalitarian concerns in the fair distribution of healthcare
Noemie Roten is a masters student in Philosophy and Public Policy. Her main elds of interest are Public Economics and Public Finances, Health Policy, Social and retirement Policy and Immigration Policy.
Today, cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) plays an increasingly important role in the distribution of healthcare. This utilitarian approach has been criticised for ignoring important priority-relevant considerations, such as prioritarian or equalitarian concerns for the worst-off. This essay will raise a further priority relevant consideration, which states that a special priority status should be granted to the needs of the worst-off at the expense of the needs of the less-badly-off only if, as a result of the treatment, the worst-off patients have the potential to reach a minimal state of health, which would allow them to achieve aims which are deemed central to their lives. I call this moral consideration a "mild perfectionist consideration": "Perfectionist" because it promotes the idea that human beings should be able to pursue certain ideals, which are inherent to their human nature; and "mild" because the perfectionist ground from which I argue is of a restricted nature because it accords value to ordinary achievements which are reachable by almost all persons. This principle should be understood as an adjunction to, and not in opposition to, prioritarian or hard-line egalitarian concerns. It proposes a justification (which is nevertheless consistent with moderate egalitarian concerns) for why certain groups of particularly badly-off patients should not be given priority in the fair distribution of healthcare, even if that would result in a more unequal situation.
How to Cite:
Roten, N., 2016. A perfectionist adjunction to egalitarian concerns in the fair distribution of healthcare. Rerum Causae, 8(1), pp.74–84.