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Reading: Is the Use of QALYs as the Unit of Healthcare Justice Unfair to Disabled People?

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Is the Use of QALYs as the Unit of Healthcare Justice Unfair to Disabled People?

Author:

Yi Li

London School of Economics, GB
About Yi

My sincere thanks to Professor Alex Voorhoeve, who reviewed this draft, and to Dr. Jan-Willem van der Rijt for his thought-provoking response at the 3rd LSE-Bayreuth Student Philosophy Conference.

MSc Philosophy and Public Policy (2014-2015). Her research interests include personal identity, metaethics, and ethical issues in health and science policy. She hopes to work in health policy, and to one day gain the respect of a cat.

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Abstract

The quality-adjusted life years (QALY) is a measure of health-related quality of life commonly used in healthcare priority-setting. Years of life without a disability generates more QALYs than years of life with a disability, so any method of priority-setting that takes into account the number of QALYs generated would have a reason prioritise the interests of non-disabled people. I argue that this potential unfairness arises because several methodological features of health state valuation make it so that the QALY does not adequately reflect health-related quality of life with a disability.

How to Cite: Li, Y., 2015. Is the Use of QALYs as the Unit of Healthcare Justice Unfair to Disabled People?. Rerum Causae, 7(1), pp.30–48.
Published on 01 Jan 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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